Potential accumulation of protopanaxadiol-type ginsenosides in six-months toxicokinetic study of SHENMAI injection in dogs

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Abstract

SHENMAI injection (SMI), derived from famous Shen Mai San, is a herbal injection widely used in China. Ginsenosides are the major components of SMI. To monitor the exposure level of SMI during long-term treatment, a 6-month toxicokinetic experiment was performed. Twenty-four beagle dogs were dived into four groups (n = 6 in each group): a control group (0.9% NaCl solution) and three SMI groups (2, 6 or 3 mg/kg). The dogs were i.v. infused with vehicle or SMI daily for 180 d. Blood samples for analysis were collected at specific time points as follows: pre-dose (0 h); at 10, 30, and 60 min during infusion; and at 10, 30, 60, 90, 120, 240, and 300 min post-administration. Concentrations of ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re, Rf, and Rg1 in the plasma were determined simultaneously by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Non-compartmental parameters were further calculated and analyzed. Significant differences were found between the kinetic behavior of 20(S)-protopanaxadiol-type (PPD-type) and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol-type (PPT-type) ginsenosides. Increasing in the exposure level of PPD-type ginsenosides was observed in dogs during the experiment. Therefore, PPD-type ginsenosides are closely related to the immunity modulation effect of SMI. Increased PPD-type ginsenoside exposure level may present potential toxicity and induce drug-drug interaction risks during SMI administration. As such, PPD-type ginsenoside accumulation must be carefully monitored in future SMI research.

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