Protective effects of Foeniculum vulgare root bark extract against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice.World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Aug 21; 23(31):5722-5731.WJ
To investigate the protective effects of Foeniculum vulgare root bark (FVRB), a traditional Uyghur medicine, against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice.
Mice were randomly divided into eight groups (n = 20 each). Except for the normal control group, mice in the rest groups were intraperitoneally injected (i.p.) with 0.1% CCl4-olive oil mixture at 10 mL/kg twice a week to induce liver fibrosis. After 4 wk, mice were treated concurrently with the 70% ethanol extract of FVRB (88, 176, 352 and 704 mg/kg, respectively) daily by oral gavage for 4 wk to evaluate its protective effects. Serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), triglyceride (TG), hexadecenoic acid (HA), laminin (LN), glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver tissues were measured. Hematoxylin-eosin (H and E) staining and Masson trichrome (MT) staining were performed to assess histopathological changes in the liver. The expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), matrix metalloprotein 9 (MMP-9) and metallopeptidase inhibitor 1 (TIMP-1) was detected by immunohistochemical analysis. Additionally, TGF-β1 and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) protein expression was measured by Western blot.
A significant reduction in serum levels of AST, ALT, TG, HA and LN was observed in the FVRB-treated groups, suggesting that FVRB displayed hepatoprotective effects. Also, the depletion of GSH, SOD, and MDA accumulation in liver tissues was suppressed by FVRB. The expression of TGF-β1, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 determined by immunohistochemistry was markedly reduced in a dose-dependent manner by FVRB treatment. Furthermore, protective effects of FVRB against CCl4-induced liver injury were confirmed by histopathological studies. Protein expression of TGF-β1 and α-SMA detected by Western blot was decreased by FVRB treatment.
Our results indicate that FVRB may be a promising agent against hepatic fibrosis and its possible mechanisms are inhibiting lipid peroxidation and reducing collagen formation in liver tissue of liver fibrosis mice.