The protective action of scutellarin against immunological liver injury induced by concanavalin A and its effect on pro-inflammatory cytokines in mice

Authors

  • Zheng Huai Tan,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China
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    • 3

      Zheng Huai Tan is a visiting scholar from Sichuan Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Chengdu 610041, China.

  • Ling Hong Yu,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China
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  • Huai Lin Wei,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China
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  • Geng Tao Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China
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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 1 Xian Nong Tan St., Beijing 100050, China. E-mail: gtliu2002@yahoo.com; liugt@imm.ac.cn

Abstract

Scutellarin is a natural compound from a Chinese herb. The purpose of this paper was to study the protective effect of scutellarin on concanavalin A (Con A)-induced immunological liver injury and its effect on liver nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interferon γ (IFN-γ), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in mice. Mouse liver injury was produced by injection of Con A 25 mg kg−1 via the tail vein. Scutellarin 50 or 100 mg kg−1 was peritoneally administered to mice 9 or 1 h before injection of Con A. The levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and asparatate aminotransferase (AST), NO2/NO3 and TNF-α were determined with biochemical kits, and ELISA using Quantikine Mouse TNF-α kit according the manufacturer's instructions. Liver lesions were examined by light microscope. The expression of TNF-α, IFN-γ, iNOS and Fas mRNA in the livers was detected by RT-PCR; and the expression of c-Fos, c-Jun, iNOS and IκB proteins was measured by Western Blotting. As a result, pretreatment with scutellarin 100 mg kg−1 significantly decreased the serum ALT, AST, NO2/NO3and TNF-α levels, and also reduced liver lesions induced by Con A. Scutellarin 100 mg kg−1 down-regulated expression of TNF-α and iNOS mRNA, and c-Fos, c-Jun and iNOS protein, while scutellarin enhanced the degradation of IκBα in the livers of mice injected with Con A. The results suggest that scutellarin has a protective action against Con A-induced liver injury in mice, and its active mechanism may be related to the inhibition of the NF-κB-TNF-α-iNOS transduction pathway.

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