Methods: NPDFs were isolated from nasal polyps of seven patients who had chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyp. NPDFs were exposed to TGF-β1 with or without Rg1. Expression levels of α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), fibronectin and collagen type Iα1 were determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunofluorescent staining. TGF-β1 signaling molecules, including Smad2/3, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 were analyzed by Western blotting. Transcription factors involved with TGF-β1 signaling, nuclear factor (NF)-κB and activator protein 1 (AP-1) were also assessed by Western blot. The cytotoxic effect of Rg1 was measured by an established viability assay.
Results: The mRNA and protein expression levels of α-SMA, fibronectin and collagen type Iα1 were increased in TGF-β1-induced NPDFs. Rg1 inhibited these effects. The inhibitory molecular mechanism of Rg1 was involved in the ERK pathway. Rg1 inhibited the transcription factor activation of AP-1. Rg1 itself was not cytotoxic. The ginsenoside Rg1 has inhibitory effects on myofibroblast differentiation and ECM production. The inhibitory mechanism of Rg1 is involved with the ERK and AP-1 signaling pathways.
Conclusions: Rg1 may be useful as an inhibitor of ECM deposition, and has potential to be used as a novel treatment option for nasal polyps.