Effects and mechanisms of Acremoniumterricola milleretal mycelium on liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats.Am J Chin Med 2011; 39(3):537-50AJ
Acremoniumterricola milleretal mycelium (AMM) is one of the most precious traditional Chinese medicines. It has numerous protective effects on organs, and has been used in Chinese herb prescription to treat refractory diseases. Our preliminary studies demonstrated that AMM had hepatoprotective activity in acute liver injury. We further investigated the effects of AMM on liver fibrosis in rats induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) and explore its possible mechanisms. The animal model was established by injection with 50% CCl(4) subcutaneously in male Sprague-Dawley rats twice a week for eight weeks. Meanwhile, AMM (175, 350 and 700 mg/kg) was administered intragastrically per day until sacrifice. We found that treatment with AMM (175, 350 and 700 mg/kg) decreased CCl(4)-induced elevation of serum transaminase activities, hyaluronic acid, laminin and procollagen type III levels, and contents of hydroxyproline in liver tissues. It also restored the decreased SOD and GSH-Px activities and inhibited the formation of lipid peroxidative products during CCl(4) treatment. Moreover, AMM (350 and 700 mg/kg) decreased the elevation of TGF-β1 by 19.6% and 34.3%, respectively. In the pathological study, liver injury and the formation of liver fibrosis in rates treated by AMM were improved significantly. Immunoblot analysis showed that AMM (175, 350 and 700 mg/kg) inhibited Smad 2/3 phosphorylation, and elevated inhibitor Smad 7 expression. These results suggested that AMM could protect liver damage and inhibit the progression of hepatic fibrosis induced by CCl(4), and its mechanisms might be associated with its ability to scavenge free radicals, decrease the level of TGF-β1 and block TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway.