Anti-fibrotic effects of puerarin on CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats possibly through the regulation of PPAR-γ expression and inhibition of PI3K/Akt pathway.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun ;56:436-42. Epub 2013 Mar 14. PMID: 23500774
Hepatic fibrosis (HF) is a chronic disease, which primarily leads to liver unregulated metabolism. In this study, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of puerarin (PR), an active ingredient from kudzu root, on CCl4-induced HF rats. PR effectively ameliorated the liver metabolic function, resulting in reduced serum enzymatic activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total-bilirubin (T-bilirubin), extracellular matrix (ECM) contents and increased levels of albumin, total-protein (T-protein) in HF rats. Similarly, pathological examination showed that the CCl4-lesioned liver was mitigated by PR treatments. Meanwhile, we also detected significantly reduced levels of hydroxyproline (Hyp), type III precollagen (PCIII) and collagen I (Col I) in the liver tissue of HF rats, whereas the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-γ) expression was effectively increased. Moreover, the expression of tissue inhibitor of metal protease-1 (TIMP-1) was decreased, while the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) was increased. In addition, the expression of p-PI3K and p-Akt was significantly down-regulated by PR treatments. Taken together, PR could attenuate the CCl4-induced toxicity in the hepatocytes of HF rats. It played a protective role in the liver tissue probably through regulating the PPAR-γ expression and blocking the PI3K/Akt pathway to inhibit the excessive deposition of collagen.