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Abstract

Volume 15, Issue 4 (July 2013) 15, 503–507; 10.1038/aja.2013.49

Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract (GB0710) on penile erection: evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies

KS Cho1, CW Park2, CK Kim3, HY Jeon2, WG Kim2, SJ Lee2, YM Kim3, JY Lee1 and YD Choi1,4

1 Department of Urology, Severance Hospital, Urological Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea
2 R&D Center, Amorepacific Corporation, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do 446-729, Korea
3 Vascular System Research Center and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chunchon 200-701, Korea
4 Clinical Trial Center for Medical Devices, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea

Correspondence: Dr YD Choi, (youngd74@yuhs.ac)

Received 5 January 2013; Revised 15 February 2013; Accepted 27 March 2013; Advance online publication 27 May 2013

Abstract

Several reports have promoted the root-derived Korean red ginseng (KRG; Panax ginseng) as alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), and ginsenosides are known to be the principal active ingredients of ginseng. Recent studies showed that ginseng berries produce more ginsenosides than KRG; thus, we investigated the ability of the Korean ginseng berry extract GB0710 to relax the penile corpus cavernosum smooth muscle (CCSM) in this study. As a comparative control, the results were compared to those obtained using KRG. In addition, possible mechanisms of action for GB0710 were investigated. While KRG and GB0710 both displayed dose-dependent relaxation effects on precontracted rabbit CCSM in vitro, GB0710 was shown to be more potent than KRG. The GB0710-induced relaxation could be partially reduced by removing the endothelium. In addition, pre-treatment with several nitric oxide (NO) inhibitors significantly inhibited the relaxation of muscle strips. Furthermore, administration of GB0710 increased intracavernosal pressure (ICP) in a rat in vivo model in both a dose- and duration-dependent manner. Intracellular NO production in human microvascular endothelial cells could be induced by GB0710 and inhibited by NG-monomethyl-L-arginine. In conclusion, GB0710 had a greater relaxation effect on rabbit CCSM than did KRG extract, and increased ICP in a rat model in both a dose- and a duration-dependent manner. This relaxing effect might be mediated by NO production.

corpus cavernosum; erectile dysfunction (ED); ginseng berry; nitric oxide (NO); smooth muscle

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