2016 Volume 39 Issue 8 Pages 1284-1292
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with poor prognosis and high mortality rate. Panax Notoginseng Saponins (PNS), extracted from Panax Notoginseng as a traditional Asian medicine, displayed a significant anti-fibrosis effect in liver and lung. However, whether Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1), an important and active ingredient of PNS, exerts anti-fibrotic activity on IPF still remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of Rg1 on bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats. Bleomycin (5 mg/kg body weight) was intratracheally administrated to male rats. Rg1 (18, 36 and 72 mg/kg) was orally administered on the next day after bleomycin. Lungs were harvested at day 7 and 28 for the further experiments. Histological analysis revealed that bleomycin successfully induced pulmonary fibrosis, and that Rg1 restored the histological alteration of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis (PF), significantly decreased lung coefficient, scores of alveolitis, scores of PF as well as contents of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and hydroxyproline (Hyp) in a dose-dependent manner in PF rats. Moreover, Rg1 increased the expression levels of Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) mRNA and protein, lowered the expression of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) mRNA and protein in the lung tissues of PF rats. These data suggest that Rg1 exhibits protective effect against bleomycin-induced PF in rats, which is potentially associated with the down-regulation of TGF-β1 and up-regulation of Cav-1.