β-Amyrin, a pentacyclic triterpene, exhibits anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic effects on dimethyl nitrosamine–induced hepatic fibrosis in male rats

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Abstract

Hepatic fibrosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Attenuation of fibrogenic process can significantly lower the mortality rate. However, pharmaceutical intervention at fibrogenesis stage remains a major task in medicine. So there is a need for a natural compound to treat hepatic fibrosis. This study was outlined to investigate the anti-fibrotic effect of β-amyrin in dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-induced hepatic fibrosis male rats. Serum liver function markers (aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase), oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reduced content and vitamin C), tissue inflammatory marker (tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)), apoptosis marker (caspase 3) and fibrolytic marker (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1)) were evaluated before and after β-amyrin treatment in DMN-induced rat. β-Amyrin treatment attenuated the altered levels of the serum enzyme markers produced by DMN and caused a subsequent recovery toward normalization. Oxidative stress markers and TNF-α levels were reduced significantly (p < 0.001) as well as proteins’ (caspase-3 and TIMP-1) expression was reduced in β-amyrin–treated DMN rats. By virtue of β-amyrin properties of inhibiting oxidative stress, apoptosis, inflammation, and fibrogenesis, it might act as an ideal anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrogenic agent to halt the progression of liver fibrosis to chronicity.

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