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Ginsenoside Rg3, a component of ginseng, induces pro-thrombotic activity of erythrocytes via hemolysis-associated phosphatidylserine exposure

Bian, Yiying, An, Gwang-Jin, Kim, Keunyoung, Ngo, Thien, Shin, Sue, Bae, Ok-Nam, Lim, Kyung-Min, Chung, Jin-Ho
Food and chemical toxicology 2019 v.131 pp. 110553
Panax, blood coagulation, coagulation, confocal microscopy, erythrocyte membrane, erythrocytes, flow cytometry, ginsenosides, hemolysis, humans, in vivo studies, intravenous injection, phosphatidylserines, rats, thrombosis, toxicology
Ginseng and its active gradient, ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3), are widely used for a variety of health benefits, but concerns over their misuses are increasing. Previously, it has been reported that Rg3 can cause hemolysis, but its health outcome remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that Rg3 could promote the procoagulant activity of erythrocytes through the process of hemolysis, ultimately leading to increased thrombosis. In freshly isolated human erythrocytes, Rg3 caused pore formation and fragmentation of the erythrocyte membrane. Confocal microscopy observation and flow cytometric analysis revealed that remnant erythrocyte fragments after the exposure to Rg3 expressed phosphatidylserine (PS), which can promote blood coagulation through providing assembly sites for coagulation complexes. Rat in vivo experiments further confirmed that intravenous administration of Rg3 produced PS-bearing erythrocyte debris and increased thrombosis. Collectively, we demonstrated that Rg3 could induce the procoagulant activity of erythrocytes by generating PS-bearing erythrocyte debris through hemolysis, which might provoke thrombosis.