Planta Med 2002; 68(5): 402-406
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-32069
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Hepatoprotective Effect of Majonoside R2, the Major Saponin from Vietnamese Ginseng (Panax vietnamensis)

Quan Le Tran1 , I. Ketut Adnyana1 , Yasuhiro Tezuka1 , Yuko Harimaya1 , Ikuo Saiki1 , Youichi Kurashige2 , Qui Kim Tran3 , Shigetoshi Kadota1
  • 1Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan
  • 2Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan
  • 3National University - Hochiminh City, Hochiminh City, Vietnam
Further Information

Publication History

July 3, 2001

October 7, 2001

Publication Date:
07 June 2002 (online)


The hepatoprotective effect of majonoside R2 (MR2), the major saponin constituent from Vietnamese ginseng (Panax vietnamensis, Araliaceae), was evaluated in vivo on D-galactosamine (D-GalN)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatic apoptosis and subsequent liver failure in mice. Pretreatment of mice with MR2 (50 or 10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) at 12 and 1 h before D-GalN/LPS injection significantly inhibited apoptosis and suppressed following hepatic necrosis. Importantly, the elevation of serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) level, an important mediator for apoptosis in this model, was significantly inhibited by MR2 at a dose of 50 mg/kg. On the other hand, MR2 was found to protect primary cultured mouse hepatocytes from cell death by inhibiting apoptosis induced by D-GalN/TNF-α in vitro, as evidenced by DNA fragmentation analysis. These findings suggested that MR2 may have protected the hepatocytes from apoptosis via an inhibition of TNF-α production by activated macrophages and a direct inhibition of apoptosis induced by TNF-α.


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Prof. Dr. Shigetoshi Kadota

Department of Natural Products Chemistry

Institute of Natural Medicine

Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University

2630 Sugitani

Toyama 930-0194


Phone: +81-76-434-7625

Fax: +81-76-434-5059