Modulation of ethanol toxicity by Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) in Japanese ricefish (Oryzias latipes) embryogenesis

M. H. Haron, B. Avula, I. A. Khan, S. K. Mathur, A. K. Dasmahapatra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption by women during pregnancy often induces fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in children who have serious central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular, and craniofacial defects. Prevention of FASD, other than women abstaining from alcohol drinking during pregnancy, is not known. A limitation of the use of synthetic anti-alcoholic drugs during pregnancy led us to investigate herbal products. In particular, many plants including Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) have therapeutic potential for the treatment of alcoholism. We used Japanese ricefish (medaka) (Oryzias latipes), an animal model of FASD, for identifying herbal medicines that can attenuate ethanol toxicity. Fertilized eggs in standard laboratory conditions were exposed to ginseng (PG) root extract (0-2 mg/mL) either 0-2 (group A) or 1-3 (group B) day post fertilization (dpf) followed by maintenance in a clean hatching solution. The calculated IC50 as determined 10 dpf in A and B groups were 355.3 ± 1.12 and 679.7 ± 1.6 μg/mL, respectively. Simultaneous exposure of embryos in sub-lethal concentrations of PG (50-200 μg/mL) and ethanol (300 mM) for 48 h disrupted vessel circulation and enhanced mortality. However, PG (100 μg/mL) may partially protect trabecular cartilage (TC) deformities in the neurocranium in B group embryos induced by ethanol (300 mM). To understand the mechanism, embryonic ethanol concentration was measured at 2 dpf and adh5, adh8, aldh2, aldh9a, catalase, GST, and GR mRNAs were analyzed at 6 dpf. It was observed that although ethanol is able to reduce adh8 and GST mRNA contents, the simultaneous addition of PG was unable to alter ethanol level as well as mRNA contents in these embryos. Therefore, antagonistic effects of PG on ethanol toxicity are mediated by a mechanism which is different from those regulating ethanol metabolism and oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Japanese ricefish
  • Medaka
  • Panax ginseng

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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