Protective effect of extract from Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus against liver injury induced by bacillus Calmette-Guérin and lipopolysaccharide in mice.Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2008; 103(2):143-9BC
Paeonia lactiflora and Astragalus membranaceus are two popular traditional Chinese medicines, commonly used in Chinese herb prescription to treat liver disease. The extract from the roots of P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus demonstrated better hepatoprotective activity than the herbs used individually as shown in our previous studies. The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus extract on immunological liver injury in mice induced by Bacillus Calmette-Guérin and lipopolysaccharide (BCG/LPS) and to explore a possible mechanism. After administration of P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus (60, 120 and 240 mg/kg, intragastrically) daily for 10 days, the extract significantly reduced the degree of liver damage in BCG/LPS-induced liver injury, as well as the elevation of serum transaminase activities and level of nitric oxide in live injury mice. The extract also restored the decrease in superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and inhibited the formation of lipid peroxidative products. Moreover, P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus (60, 120 and 240 mg/kg, intragastrically) repressed high levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) from peritoneal macrophages. In the primary cultured Kupffer cells, P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus also significantly decreased the production of TNF-alpha and IL-1 in cells stimulated with LPS (5 microg/ml). These results suggest that P. lactiflora and A. membranaceus have a protective effect on BCG/LPS-induced liver injury mice, which might be associated with the antioxidant properties, ability to reduce nitric oxide production and suppression of Kupffer cell activity and pro-inflammatory mediator and cytokines production.