Protective effect of ferulic acid against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice
This study examined the effects of ferulic acid, a bioactive compound isolated from Scrophulariae Radix, on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury. The mice were treated intraperitoneally with 20µl/kg CCl4. They received 10, 20, 40, and 80mg/kg ferulic acid 1h before and 2h after the CCl4 treatment. And a positive control group was treated with 800mg/kg silymarin. At 24h after the CCl4 treatment, the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase, serum aspartate aminotransferase and lipid peroxidation were significantly elevated, whereas the hepatic glutathione content was decreased. These changes were attenuated by ferulic acid. The mRNA expressions of tumor necrosis factor-α, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and cyclooxygenase-2, proinflammatory mediators, were markedly increased by the CCl4 treatment but this increase was suppressed by ferulic acid treatment. In contrast, the mRNA expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a defense protein against oxidative damages, was augmented by treatment of ferulic acid. These findings suggest that ferulic acid protects hepatocytes from the oxidative damage caused by CCl4 and its protection is likely due to the induction of HO-1 and the downregulation of proinflammatory mediators.
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant from the Korea Food and Drug Administration (Studies on the Identification of Efficacy of Biologically Active Components from Oriental Herbal Medicines).