Ginsenoside Rg1 augments oxidative metabolism and anabolic response of skeletal muscle in mice

H-J Jeong, H-K So, AJo, H-B Kim, S-J Lee, G-U Bae, J-S Kan

Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Samsung Medical Center, Single Cell Network Research Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.

Journal of Ginseng Research

Background: The ginsenoside Rg1 has been shown to exert various pharmacological activities with health benefits. Previously, we have reported that Rg1 promoted myogenic differentiation and myotube growth in C2C12 myoblasts. In this study, the in vivo effect of Rg1 on fiber-type composition and oxidative metabolism in skeletal muscle was examined.
Methods: To examine the effect of Rg1 on skeletal muscle, 3-month-old mice were treated with Rg1 for 5 weeks. To assess muscle strength, grip strength tests were performed, and the lower hind limb muscles were harvested, followed by various detailed analysis, such as histological staining, immunoblotting, immunostaining, and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In addition, to verify the in vivo data, primary myoblasts isolated from mice were treated with Rg1, and the Rg1 effect on myotube growth was examined by immunoblotting and immunostaining analysis.
Results: Rg1 treatment increased the expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms characteristic for both oxidative and glycolytic muscle fibers; increased myofiber sizes were accompanied by enhanced muscle strength. Rg1 treatment also enhanced oxidative muscle metabolism with elevated oxidative phosphorylation proteins. Furthermore, Rg1-treated muscles exhibited increased levels of anabolic S6 kinase signaling.
Conclusion: Rg1 improves muscle functionality via enhancing muscle gene expression and oxidative muscle metabolism in mice.

BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Grip strength test (BIO-GS3)

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