Protection effect of piper betel leaf extract against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis in rats.Arch Toxicol 2007; 81(1):45-55AT
Piper betel leaves (PBL) are used in Chinese folk medicine for the treatment of various disorders. PBL has the biological capabilities of detoxication, antioxidation, and antimutation. In this study, we evaluated the antihepatotoxic effect of PBL extract on the carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced liver injury in a rat model. Fibrosis and hepatic damage, as reveled by histology and the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were induced in rats by an administration of CCl(4) (8%, 1 ml/kg body weight) thrice a week for 4 weeks. PBL extract significantly inhibited the elevated AST and ALT activities caused by CCl(4) intoxication. It also attenuated total glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and GST alpha isoform activity, and on the other hand, enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities. The histological examination showed the PBL extract protected liver from the damage induced by CCl(4) by decreasing alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-sma) expression, inducing active matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) expression though Ras/Erk pathway, and inhibiting TIMP2 level that consequently attenuated the fibrosis of liver. The data of this study support a chemopreventive potential of PBL against liver fibrosis.