Mechanism of combined use of vitamin D and puerarin in anti-hepatic fibrosis by regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Sep 28 ;24(36):4178-4185. PMID: 30271082
AIM: To reveal the protective mechanism of the combined use of vitamin D and puerarin in the progression of hepatic fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl).
METHODS: Eight-week-old male Wistar rats were randomly divided into a normal control group (C group), a CClgroup (CClgroup), a vitamin D group (V group), a puerarin group (P group), and a combined group of vitamin D and puerarin (V + P group), each of which contained ten rats. In this way, we built a rat model of CCl-induced hepatic fibrosis with intervention by vitamin D, puerarin, or a combination of the two. After eight weeks, the mice were sacrificed to collect serum and liver specimens. Blood was collected to detect the hyaluronic acid (HA). We also measured hydroxyproline (Hyp) and prepared paraffin sections of liver. After Sirius red staining, the liver specimens were observed under a microscope. RT-PCR and western blot analysis were adopted to detect the mRNA and the protein levels of Collagen I, Collagen III, Wnt1, andβ-catenin in the liver tissues, respectively.
RESULTS: Hepatic fibrosis was observed in the CClgroup. In comparison, hepatic fibrosis was attenuated in the V, P, and V + P groups: the HA level in blood and the Hyp level in liver were reduced, and the mRNA levels of Collagen I, Collagen III, Wnt, andβ-catenin in liver were also decreased, as well as the protein levels of Wnt1 and β-catenin. Among these groups, the V + P group demonstrated the greatest amelioration of hepatic fibrosis.
CONCLUSION: The combined application of vitamin D and puerarin is capable of alleviating CCl-induced hepatic fibrosis of rats. As to the mechanism, it is probably because the combined use is able to silence the Wnt1/β-catenin pathway, suppress the activation of hepatic stellate cells, and reduce the secretion of collagen fibers, therefore improving the anti-hepatic fibrosis effect.