Protective effects of total flavonoids of Bidens bipinnata L. against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis in rats.J Pharm Pharmacol 2008; 60(10):1393-402JP
Bidens bipinnata L. is well known in China as a traditional Chinese medicine and has been used to treat hepatitis in clinics for many years. In a previous study we found that total flavonoids of Bidens bipinnata L. (TFB) had a protective effect against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury in mice. Now this study was designed to investigate its therapeutic effect against CCl4-induced liver fibrosis in rats and to determine, in part, its mechanism of action. The liver fibrosis model was established by subcutaneous injection of 50% CCl4 twice a week for 18 weeks. TFB (40, 80 and 160 mg kg(-1)) was administered by gastrogavage daily from the 9th week. The results showed that TFB (80 and 160 mg kg(-1)) treatment for 10 weeks significantly reduced the elevated liver index (liver weight/body weight) and spleen index (spleen weight/body weight), elevated levels of serum transaminases (alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase), hyaluronic acid, type III procollagen and hepatic hydroxyproline. In addition, TFB markedly inhibited CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and enhanced the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, TFB (80 and 160 mg kg(-1)) treatment improved the morphologic changes of hepatic fibrosis induced by CCl4 and suppressed nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA) protein expression and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 gene expression in the liver of liver fibrosis of rats. In conclusion, TFB was able to ameliorate liver injury and protect rats from CCl4-induced liver fibrosis by suppressing oxidative stress. This process may be related to inhibiting the induction of NF-kappaB on hepatic stellate cell activation and the expression of TGF-beta1.