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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Nov;45(11):2237-44. Epub 2007 Jun 2.

Panax ginseng effects on DNA damage, CYP1A1 expression and histopathological changes in testes of rats exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

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Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Anamdong 5 Ka, Sungbuk Ku, Seoul 136-705, Republic of Korea.


The effects of Panax ginseng extracts on DNA damage, expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 and reproductive toxicity were evaluated in the testis of rats exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxinthe (TCDD). Fifty rats were divided into five groups according to treatment with 2,3,7,8-TCDD and P. ginseng extracts. Single cell gel electrophoresis assays were performed to evaluate DNA damage that occurred in the lymphocytes of rats. Histological changes in the seminiferous tubules of the testis were determined using Johnsen's scoring system and Real Time-PCR was performed to evaluate the mRNA expression of CYP1A1. Significant pathological effects were observed in the 2,3,7,8-TCDD treated rats including a reduced seminiferous tubular diameter, an increased number of damaged tubules (maturation arrest, eosinophilic degeneration and spermatid giant cells) and increased Johnsen's score. DNA damage and the expression of CYP1A1 mRNA were significantly increased in rat testes. There were no significant differences between the control and animals treated with P. ginseng extracts. However, a significantly decreased level of DNA damage, decreased CYP1A1 expression and reduced pathological effects were observed in the 2,3,7,8-TCDD with P. ginseng extracts treated groups when compared with the TCDD treated group. In summary, our study demonstrates that 2,3,7,8-TCDD induces the pathological and genotoxical damage in rat testes, while P. ginseng extract treatment exhibits a therapeutic capacity to reduce these effects via reduction of CYP1A1 mRNA.

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