Planta Med 2016; 82(01/02): 97-105
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1558112
Biological and Pharmacological Activitiy
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Antihepatofibrotic Effects of Aqueous Extract of Prunella vulgaris on Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats

Yi-Xiang Hu
Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou, China
,
Chen-Huan Yu
Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou, China
,
Fang Wu
Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China
,
Wen-Ying Yu
Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou, China
,
Yu-Sen Zhong
Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou, China
,
Hua-Zhong Ying
Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou, China
,
Bing Yu
Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 19 May 2015
revised 08 August 2015

accepted 22 August 2015

Publication Date:
13 October 2015 (eFirst)

Abstract

Prunella vulgaris has been widely used in the folk medicine of Northeastern Asian countries for the treatment of acute liver injury and infectious hepatitis. In the present study, the protective effect of aqueous extract from P. vulgaris was investigated on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis in vivo. Our data showed that the administration of aqueous extract from P. vulgaris at doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg significantly reduced the elevated serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, type III precollagen, and hyaluronic acid in rats with hepatic fibrosis. In addition, aqueous extract from P. vulgaris also reduced the incidence of liver lesions and the formation of fibrous septa, and remarkably decreased the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines, platelet derived growth factor, interleukin-4, interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Furthermore, aqueous extract from P. vulgaris significantly inhibited the activation of hepatic stellate cells by regulating the expression of α smooth muscle actin, transforming growth factor β 1, and smad2 and also decreased the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins via regulating the expressions of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, matrix metalloproteinase-2,-13. Real-time polymerase chain reaction further revealed that post-treatment with aqueous extract from P. vulgaris decreased the elevated levels of miR-34a and miR-199a-5p in hepatic fibrosis rats. These results demonstrated that aqueous extract from P. vulgaris alleviates carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis by inhibiting the activation of hepatic stellate cells, promoting collagenolysis and regulating fibrosis-related microRNAs.