Yo Jyo Hen Shi Ko, a novel Chinese herbal, prevents nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in ob/ob mice fed a high fat or methionine–choline-deficient diet


C. P. M. S. Oliveira, MD, PhD, Departamento de Gastroenterologia, Universidade de São Paulo Av. Dr Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar n° 255 ICHC, 9 andar, sala 9159 05403000 São Paulo, Brazil.
Tel: +55 11 30696447/30617301
Fax: +55 11 30697830
e-mail: cpm@usp.br


Background: Oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Yo Jyo Hen Shi Ko (YHK) is a complex compound purported to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) by blocking the propagation of radical-induced reactions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the effect of YHK in experimental NASH.

Methods: NASH was induced in male ob/ob mice by a high-fat (HF) diet or methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet for 4 weeks. YHK-treated animals received YHK solution orally (20 mg/kg/day) in both experimental diets (n=6; each group) while control animals received only vehicle.

Results: The MCD and HF groups developed moderate diffuse macrosteatosis, hepatocellular ballooning, and a diffuse inflammatory infiltrate. With the addition of YHK, there was a marked reduction in macrosteatosis in both groups. This was associated with decreased lipoperoxide and reduced glutathione–GSH concentrations as well as reduced serum aminotransferases and improved histological markers of inflammation. These changes were also associated with weight loss in the MCD+YHK group and diminished weight gain in the HF+YHK group.

Conclusion: YHK therapy blunts the development of macrosteatosis in these models of NASH and significantly reduces markers of oxidative stress. YHK also diminishes weight gain in this obesity prone model. Our findings warrant further study on the mechanisms involved with these effects.