An acidic polysaccharide of Panax ginseng (APG), so called ginsan is known to have important immunomodulatory activities. It was recently reported that APG has radioprotective effects in mice but the detailed mechanism was not fully elucidated. This study examined the effects of APG on bone marrow cells (BMs). The phenotypical and functional changes in APG-treated BMs after gamma radiation were studied. The benefit of APG on BMs damaged by gamma radiation was determined by measuring the cell viability. Using 2 different assays, a pretreatment with APG significantly increased the viability of BMs against gamma radiation. APG-treated BMs had a significantly higher amount of IL-12, which is a major cytokine for immune responses, compared with the medium-treated BMs. The expression of MHC class II molecules of APG-treated BMs was also increased, and APG-treated BMs showed significantly higher levels of allogeneic CD4+ T lymphocyte proliferation. Furthermore, APG-treated mice had a larger number of BMs after gamma radiation than the control mice, and the BMs of APG-treated mice were successfully cultured into dendritic cells, which are the representative antigen-presenting cells. Overall, this study shows that APG alters the phenotype of BMs, increases the viability and alloreactivity of BMs after gamma radiation both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, APG may be a good candidate radioprotective agent for BMs.
Hyun-Ji Kim, Mi-Hyoung Kim, Yun-Young Byon
Journal of Veterinary Science