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Hepatoprotective and blood alcohol lowering effects of Korean Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis var. Koreana Nakai) polar extracts
Korean raisin tree, Hovenia dulcis var. Koreana Nakai Rhamnaceae, which is distributed in Korea, China and Japan is known to show hepatoprotective effect and to reduce the acute alcohol toxicity. In this study, the hepatoprotective effect against the chemically induced experimental liver injury models and lowering effect of blood alcohol level in animal models acutely administered alcohol by the peduncle extracts of Korean raisin tree were investigated. HdfHW-1, HdfM-1 and HdbrM-1 which are successively obtained from hot water, 70% and 100% methanol extraction of fruit and young branches, significantly reduced the CCI4 or D-galactosamine/LPS induced damage in sliced liver. The hot water and methanol fruit peduncle extracts protected dose-dependently against CCI4 induced toxicity in primary hepatocyte culture. The amount of LDH release was reduced to the control level at 500µg/mL of hot water extracts. HdfHW-1 also decreased the hepatotoxicity induced by CCI4 in rats. The active components of HdfHW-1 seemed to be high molecular weight compounds because 0.2M NaCl HdfHW-1 fraction was the most effective among NaCI fractions of HdfHW-1 eluted with various concentrations of NaCI on DEAE 650C column chromatography. HdfM and HdfHW significantly reduced the levels of blood alcohol in rats and mice administered 40% alcohol. These results indicated that the hot water or methanol extracts Korean raisin tree have hepatoprotective effect and may reduce alcohol toxicity.