Liquiritigenin Protects Rats from Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatic Injury through PGC-1α Pathway.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015 ;2015:649568. Epub 2015 Jun 25. PMID: 26199636
The lack of effective treatment for liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomas imposes serious challenges to the healthcare system. Here, we investigated the efficacy and mechanism of liquiritigenin involved in preventing or retarding the progression of liver diseases in a rat model with chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) exposure. Sprague Dawley rats were given CCl4 and lliquiritigenin alone or simultaneously for 8 weeks before liver was harvested to check histological changes by Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining, apoptosis by TUNEL assay, ROS by dihydroethidium staining, antioxidant enzyme activities and malondialdehyde using specific kits, and gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot. Chronic CCl4 exposure caused profound changes in liver histology with extensive hepatocyte death (necrosis and apoptosis), fat accumulation, and infiltration of inflammatory cells, accompanied by depressed activities of antioxidant enzymes, increased oxidative stress, elevated expression of inflammation and fibrotic genes, and downregulation of PGC-1α, ND1, and Bcl-x in rat liver. All these changes were abolished or alleviated by lliquiritigenin. The results demonstrated that liquiritigenin is effective in protecting liver from injury or treating chronic liver diseases. The modulation of PGC-1α and its downstream genes might play a critical role in relieving CCl4-induced hepatic pathogenesis by liquiritigenin.