Chen Q, Zhan Q, Li Y et al.
Department of Pharmacy, Shanghai Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200438, China.
Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2017.
Schisandra chinensis (S. chinensis) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine widely used for the treatment of liver disease, whose main active components are lignans. However, the action mechanisms of the lignans in S. chinensis remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect and related molecular mechanism of Schisandra lignan extract (SLE) against carbon tetrachloride- (CCl4-) induced acute liver injury in mice. Different doses of SLE at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg were administered daily by gavage for 5 days before CCl4 treatment. The results showed that SLE significantly decreased the activities of serum ALT/AST and reduced liver pathologic changes induced by CCl4. Pretreatment with SLE not only decreased the content of MDA but increased SOD, GSH, and GSH-Px activities in the liver, suggesting that SLE attenuated CCl4-induced oxidative stress. The expression levels of inflammatory cytokines TNF-a, IL-1β, and IL-6 were decreased after oral administration of SLE, probably because lignans inhibited the NF-κB activity. Additionally, SLE also inhibited hepatocyte apoptosis by suppressing JNK activation and regulating Bcl-2/Bax signaling pathways. In conclusion, these results suggested that SLE prevented CCl4-induced liver injury through a combination of antioxidative stress, anti-inflammation, and antihepatocyte apoptosis and alleviated inflammation and apoptosis by regulating the NF-κB, JNK, and Bcl-2/Bax signaling pathways.