New insight into 20(S)-ginsenoside Rh2 against T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia associated with the gut microbiota and the immune system.
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a hematopoietic malignancy associated with unfavorable factors including male gender and over nine years of age. Chemotherapy toxicity continues to present a major challenge. There is a need to develop novel natural agents to improve survival and quality of life in patients with T-ALL. 20(S)-ginsenoside Rh2 (GRh2) exhibits immune regulation and anti-tumor effects in both cellular and murine xenograft models. In the present study, the anti-cancer mechanisms of 20(S)-GRh2 involved in the immune system and intestinal microbiota were investigated in T-ALL mice. We revealed that 20(S)-Rh2 suppressed T-ALL by blocking the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhanced immunity in the spleen by regulating immune factors. In addition, 20(S)-GRh2 altered the composition of the gut microbiota, and promoted intestinal homeostasis by elevating the levels of tight junction proteins, antimicrobial peptides and IgA. 20(S)-GRh2 ameliorated the LPS-induced inflammatory response in the intestine of T-ALL mice. Furthermore, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Akkermansia, Lactobacillus, and Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group were positively correlated with anti-tumor immune factors, intestinal barrier-related factors, and the anti-inflammatory response. Conversely, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Parabacteroides and Alistipes had the opposite correlation. Collectively, these results suggest that 20(S)-GRh2 is a safe and effective natural product, that shows promise for the prevention and treatment of T-ALL.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.