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Inhibitory effects of armepavine against hepatic fibrosis in rats

Author(s): Weng Ting-Chun | Shen Chien-Chang | Chiu Yung-Tsung | Lin Yun-Lian | Kuo Cheng-Deng | Huang Yi-Tsau

Journal: Journal of Biomedical Science
ISSN 1021-7770

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 78;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) plays a crucial role in liver fibrogenesis. armepavine (Arm, C19H23O3N), an active compound from Nelumbo nucifera, has been shown to exert immunosuppressive effects on T lymphocytes and on lupus nephritic mice. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Arm could exert anti-hepatic fibrogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. A cell line of rat HSCs (HSC-T6) was stimulated with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to evaluate the inhibitory effects of Arm. An in vivo therapeutic study was conducted in bile duct-ligated (BDL) rats. BDL rats were given Arm (3 or 10 mg/kg) by gavage twice daily for 3 weeks starting from the onset of BDL. Liver sections were taken for fibrosis scoring, immuno-fluorescence staining and quantitative real-time mRNA measurements. In vitro, Arm (1-10 μM) concentration-dependently attenuated TNF-α- and LPS-stimulated α-SMA protein expression and AP-1 activation by HSC-T6 cells without adverse cytotoxicity. Arm also suppressed TNF-α-induced collagen collagen deposition, NFκB activation and MAPK (p38, ERK1/2, and JNK) phosphorylations. In vivo, Arm treatment significantly reduced plasma AST and ALT levels, hepatic α-SMA expression and collagen contents, and fibrosis scores of BDL rats as compared with vehicle treatment. Moreover, Arm attenuated the mRNA expression levels of col 1α2, TGF-β1, TIMP-1, ICAM-1, iNOS, and IL-6 genes, but up-regulated metallothionein genes. Our study results showed that Arm exerted both in vitro and in vivo antifibrotic effects in rats, possibly through anti-NF-κB activation pathways.

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