Aqueous extract of Artemisia capillaris exerts hepatoprotective action in alcohol-pyrazole-fed rat model.J Ethnopharmacol 2013; 147(3):662-70JE
Artemisia capillaris, also called "InJin" in Korean, has been widely used to treat various hepatic disorders in traditional Oriental medicine.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of Artemisia capillaris (aqueous extract, WAC) on alcoholic liver injury.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Liver injury was induced by oral administration of 30% alcohol (10 mL/kg, twice per day) plus pyrazole (PRZ, 30 mg/kg) with/without WAC (50, 100mg/kg, orally once per day) or silymarin (50mg/kg) for 10 days. The hepatoprotective effects were assessed by observing histopathological changes, hepatic transaminase enzymes, hepatic oxidation and antioxidant parameters, inflammatory cytokines, and alcohol metabolic enzymes in serum and hepatic gene expression level, respectively.
Alcohol-PRZ treatment drastically increased the serum levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in serum and liver tissues while these changes were significantly ameliorated by WAC administration (p<0.05 or 0.01). The prominent microvesicular steatosis and mild necrosis in hepatic histopathology were induced by alcohol-PRZ treatment, but notably attenuated by WAC administration. Moreover, the alcohol-PRZ treatment-induced depletions of the antioxidant components including glutathione content, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), reductase (GSH-Rd), catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were significantly ameliorated by WAC administration (p<0.05, except GSH-Rd). These results were in accordance with the modulation of NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene expression. Alcohol-PRZ treatment increased the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) in hepatic tissues. However they were significantly normalized by WAC administration (p<0.05 or 0.01). In addition, WAC administration significantly attenuated the alterations of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) level in serum and hepatic gene expressions of ALDH and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).
These results support the relevance in clinical use of Artemisia capillaris for alcohol-associated hepatic disorders. The underlying mechanisms may involve both enhancement of antioxidant activities and modulation of proinflammatory cytokines.