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Induction of resistance vessel dilation by ginger root juice, possibly through extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation in endothelial cells
  1. Elizabeth Bird and
  2. Dinesh M. Shah
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  1. Corresponding author: Dinesh M. Shah, Professor and Director, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1010 Mound St, Madison, WI 53715, E-mail: dmshah{at}, Tel.: +1-608-417-6099


Objective To investigate the effects of ginger root juice on contractibility of resistance blood vessels from mice and on activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in human endothelial cells.

Methods Juice was prepared from semi-dry ginger roots. Mesenteric artery rings were dissected from healthy adult C57BL/J6 mice. Primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were isolated from umbilical cords of normal full-term babies. The contractibility of the dissected vessel rings in the presence or absence of ginger root juice at 0.1% (v/v) after potassium (100 mM KCL) stimulation was measured by wire myography. The phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 and eNOS in the presence of ginger root juice in the culture medium at 0, 0.025%, 0.05%, 0.1%, and 0.2% (v/v) in HUVECs were assessed by western blotting analysis.

Results An immediate sharp increase in the contractile activity was observed in mesenteric artery rings in response to KCL stimulation. Ginger root juice effectively attenuated the KCL-mediated vessel contraction. Moreover, ginger root juice significantly increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and eNOS in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusions Ginger root juice is capable of relaxing resistance blood vessels. Activation of ERK1/2 and eNOS through phosphorylation in endothelial cells may be a mechanism underlying the vasodilator activity of ginger root.

  • Ginger
  • Resistance blood vessels
  • Vasodilation
  • ERK1/2
  • eNOS
  • Phosphorylation
  • Myography
  • Endothelial cell

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