Introduction: Despite widespread use of Panax ginseng and Ginkgo biloba, the data on the safety as well as herb-drug interactions are very limited. Therefore, we postulate that P. ginseng and G. biloba may modulate the activity and content of cytochrome P450 isozymes involved in the biotransformation of diverse xenobiotic substances. Objective: The aim of our study was to determine the influence of herbal remedies on the expression level of CYP enzymes and transcriptional factors. Methods: Male Wistar rats were given standardized Panax ginseng (30 mg/kg p.o.) or standardized Ginkgo biloba (200 mg/kg p.o.) for 3 and 10 days. The expression in liver tissue was analyzed by realtime PCR method. Results: Our results showed a decrease of CYP3A1 (homologue to human CYP3A4) mRNA level after P. ginseng extract treatment. The CYP2C6 (homologue to human CYP2C9) expression was also reduced. Additionally, after 10 days of the treatment with P. ginseng an increase of CYP1A1 (homologue to human CYP1A1) and CYP1A2 (homologue to human CYP1A2) expression was observed. Moreover, G. biloba extract also caused an increase of expression level for CYP1A1, CYP2C6, CYP3A1 and CYP3A2. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that herbal extracts can modulate the expression of transcriptional factors and CYP enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and chemical carcinogenesis.
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