Shikonin Attenuates Concanavalin A-Induced Acute Liver Injury in Mice via Inhibition of the JNK Pathway.
Mediators Inflamm. 2016 ;2016:2748367. Epub 2016 May 16. PMID: 27293314
Objective. Shikonin possesses anti-inflammatory effects. However, its function in concanavalin A-induced acute liver injury remains uncertain. The aim of the present study was to investigate the functions of shikonin and its mechanism of protection on ConA-induced acute liver injury. Materials and Methods. Balb/C mice were exposed to ConA (20 mg/kg) via tail vein injection to establish acute liver injury; shikonin (7.5 mg/kg and 12.5 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered 2 h before the ConA injection. The serum liver enzyme levels and the inflammatory cytokine levels were determined at 3, 6, and 24 h after ConA injection.Results. After the injection of ConA, inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFN-γ were significantly increased. Shikonin significantly ameliorated liver injury and histopathological changes and suppressed the release of inflammatory cytokines. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax were markedly affected by shikonin pretreatment. LC3, Beclin-1, and p-JNK expression levels were decreased in the shikonin-pretreated groups compared with the ConA-treated groups. Shikonin attenuated ConA-induced liver injury by reducing apoptosis and autophagy through the inhibition of the JNK pathway. Conclusion.Our results indicated that shikonin pretreatment attenuates ConA-induced acute liver injury by inhibiting apoptosis and autophagy through the suppression of the JNK pathway.