[Protective effects of artesunate against Con A-induced autoimmune liver injury in mice].
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2018 May ;43(10):2123-2128. PMID: 29933681
Autoimmune liver disease is a refractory disease clinically, and there is no particularly effective drug at present. Therefore, it is of important clinical value to develop new effective intervention drugs for the prevention and treatment of autoimmune liver disease. In order to investigate the potential protective effect of artesunate (Art) on concanavalin A (Con A)-induced autoimmune liver injury, different doses of Art (27, 54, 108 mg·kg⁻¹) were orally administered to mice for consecutive 7 days, respectively. Then the Con A was injected into mice via tail vein to induce liver injury models. 8 h after modeling, the mice were sacrificed. The serum and liver tissue were collected for detecting the level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST), liver pathological histopathology, inflammatory cytokines and nuclear factor (NF-κB) key protein expression level. The results showed that 108 mg·kg⁻¹ Art remarkably reduced Con A-induced liver indexes and serum transaminase levels (ALT and AST) ascompared with model group(<0.01). Meanwhile, the liver histopathological changes were obviously alleviated with a significant decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokine including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin (IL-6), IL-17 and a higher increase of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 (<0.01). Western blot results showed that 108 mg·kg⁻¹ Art markedly inhibited the expressions of p-p65 and p-IκBα proteins (<0.01). The specific inhibitor of NF-κB, pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate (PDTC) could also significantly inhibit the expressions of p-p65 and p-IκBα with and alleviate liver injuries. Therefore, our results indicated that Art may have a protective action against Con A-induced autoimmune liver injury mainly by suppressing NF-κB signal pathway in mice. The study provides scientific reference for artesunate usage in preventing autoimmune liver injury.