Lactobacillus fermentum KP-3-fermented ginseng ameliorates alcohol-induced liver disease in C57BL/6N mice through the AMPK and MAPK pathways†
Panax ginseng was fermented using Lactobacillus fermentum KP-3, and the levels of the minor ginsenosides were measured. Then, the effect of fermented ginseng on alcohol-induced liver injury was investigated. C57BL/6N mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups: pair fed (PF), alcohol fed (AF), alcohol with non-fermented ginseng (AF + NFG) and alcohol with fermented ginseng (AF + FG) groups. After treatment for 8 weeks, fermented ginseng intervention significantly reduced the levels of serum ALT, AST, LPS, TG and TC compared with the AF group. The western-blotting results showed that fermented ginseng activated the adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway to inhibit de novo lipogenesis in the liver and inhibited phosphorylation of p38 through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway to alleviate hepatic inflammation, and these effects were superior than those of non-fermented ginseng. Furthermore, fermented ginseng reduced alcohol-induced liver oxidative damage by upregulating the levels of antioxidant enzymes. These findings suggested that the L. fermentum KP-3-fermented ginseng product may be used as a potential dietary nutraceutical for alleviating alcoholic liver injury.