Ginsenoside Rg1 Stimulates Nitric Oxide Release in Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cells in Culture

  • Kim, Hye-Young (Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University)
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Considering the stimulatory effects of ginsenosides from Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer on the release of nitric oxide from bovine aortic endothelial cells in vitro and vasodilatation of rabbit pulmonary artery in vivo, the present study is designed to investigate the mechanism of nitric oxide release by ginsenosides in calf pulmonary artery endothelial cells, Nitric oxide release was determined in endothelial cells treated with ginsenosides and compared with those of the receptor-dependent agonists, bradykinin and ADP and the receptor-independent calcium ionophore $A_{23187}$. The results showed that total saponin and ginsenoside $Rg_1$, not $Rb_1$, stimulated nitric oxide release measured as conversion to L-citrulline. The nitric oxide releasing properties of total saponin and ginsenoside $Rg_1$ were different; total saponin stimulated only conversion to L-citrulline, like $A_{23187}$, while ginsenoside $Rg_1$ stimulated both L-arginine transport and conversion to L-citrulline, as bradykinin or ADP did.