These results confirmed that shikonin attenuated liver fibrosis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Shikonin alleviates hepatic fibrosis and autophagy via inhibition of TGF-β1/Smads pathway.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun 4. Epub 2018 Jun 4. PMID: 29864192
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Liver fibrosis is a worldwide clinical challenge during the progression of chronic liver disease to liver cirrhosis. Shikonin is extracted from the root of Lithospermum erythrorhizon with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and wound healing properties. The study aim to investigate the protective effect of shikonin on liver fibrosis and its underlying mechanism.
METHODS: Two liver fibrosis models were established in male C57 mice by intraperitoneal injection of CClor bile duct ligation (BDL). Shikonin was administered orally three times weekly at a dosage of 2.5 or 5 mg/kg. Protein and mRNA expression were assayed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining.
RESULTS: Shikonin significantly inhibited activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) formation by downregulating the TGF-β1 expression and maintaining the normal balance between MMP2 and TIMP1. Shikonin also decreased HSCs energy production by inhibiting autophagy.
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirmed that shikonin attenuated liver fibrosis by downregulating the TGF-β1/Smads pathway and inhibiting autophagy.