Protective mechanisms of Aralia continentalis extract against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced hepatotoxicity: in vivo and in vitro studies.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

PubMedID: 18824057

Hwang YP, Choi JH, Han EH, Kim HK, Kang SK, Chung YC, Jeong HG. Protective mechanisms of Aralia continentalis extract against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced hepatotoxicity: in vivo and in vitro studies. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46(11):3512-21.
In the present work, we investigated the protective effects of the ethanol extract of Aralia continentalis roots (AC) on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced hepatotoxicity in a cultured Hepa1c1c7 cell line and in mouse liver. Pretreatment with AC prior to the administration of t-BHP significantly prevented the increase in serum levels of hepatic enzyme markers (ALT, AST) and lipid peroxidation and reduced oxidative stress, as measured by glutathione content, in the liver. Histopathological evaluation of the livers also revealed that AC reduced the incidence of liver lesions. The in vitro study showed that AC significantly reduced t-BHP-induced oxidative injury in Hepa1c1c7 cells, as determined by cell cytotoxicity, intracellular glutathione content, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and caspase-3 activation. Also, AC up-regulated phase II genes including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), NAD(P)H:quinone reductase, and glutathione S-transferase. Moreover, AC induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation and ERK1/2 and p38 activation, pathways that are involved in inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation. Taken together, these results suggest that the protective effects of AC against t-BHP-induced hepatotoxicity may, at least in part, be due to its ability to scavenge ROS and to regulate the antioxidant enzyme HO-1 via the ERK1/2 and p38/Nrf2 signaling pathways.