Hepatoprotective effect of oral application of a silymarin extract in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in ratsReport as inadecuate

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Clinical Phytoscience

, 1:5

First Online: 08 August 2015Received: 03 February 2015Accepted: 27 May 2015DOI: 10.1186-s40816-015-0006-z

Cite this article as: Mahli, A., Koch, A., Czech, B. et al. Clin Phytosci 2015 1: 5. doi:10.1186-s40816-015-0006-z


BackgroundSilymarin derived from the milk thistle plant -Silybum marianum- is composed of four major flavonolignans. Clinical as well as experimental studies indicate hepatoprotective effects of silymarin. However, the underlying mechanisms are only incompletely understood.

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of oral administration of a defined silymarin extract in the model of acute carbon tetrachloride CCl4 induced liver injury.

MethodsA single dose of a silymarin extract SE; 20 or 100 mg-kg body weight was given to rats by oral gavage. Subsequently, rats were injected with a single dose of CCl4 2 ml-kg body weight.

ResultsAfter 24h, analysis of liver to body weight ratio, serum levels of transaminases and histological analysis revealed a marked liver damage which was inhibited by SE in a dose dependent manner. CCl4-induced expressions of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic genes were significantly reduced in SE treated rats. Molecular analysis revealed that SE reduced the expression of the pro-inflammatory chemokine MCP-1, the pro-fibrogenic cytokine TGF-beta as well as collagen I in isolated human hepatic stellate cells HSC, which are the key effector cells of hepatic fibrosis.

ConclusionOral administration of the tested silymarin extract inhibited hepatocellular damage in a model of acute liver injury. Moreover, we newly found that the silymarin extract had direct effects on pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic gene expression in HSCs in vitro. This indicates that direct effects on HSC also contribute to the in vivo hepatoprotective effects of silymarin, and further promote its potential as anti-fibrogenic agent also in chronic liver disease.

KeywordsSilymarin Liver injury CCl4 Steatosis Fibrosis AbbreviationsSESilymarin extract

CCl4Tetra-carbon chloride

HSCsHepatic Stellate Cells

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Author: Abdo Mahli - Andreas Koch - Barbara Czech - Philipp Peterburs - Anja Lechner - Jutta Haunschild - Martina Müller - Claus 

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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