Serum metabonomics study of the hepatoprotective effect ofCorydalis saxicolaBunting on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute hepatotoxicity in rats by 1H NMR analysis

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Corydalis saxicola Bunting (CS), a traditional Chinese folk medicine, has been effectively used for treating liver disease in Zhuang nationality in South China. However, the exact hepatoprotective mechanism of CS was still looking forward to further elucidation by far. In present work, metabonomic study of biochemical changes in the serum of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury rats after CS treatment were performed using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) analysis. Metabolic profiling by means of principal components analysis (PCA) and partial least squares-discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) indicated that the metabolic perturbation caused by CCl4 was reduced by CS treatment. A total of 9 metabolites including isoleucine (1), lactate (2), alanine (3), glutamine (4), acetone (5), succinate (6), phosphocholine (7), d-glucose (8) and glycerol (9) were considered as potential biomarkers involved in the development of CCl4-induced acute liver injury. According to pathway analysis by metabolites identified and correlation network construction by Pearson's correlation coefficency matrix, alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism and glycerolipid metabolism were recognized as the most influenced metabolic pathways associated with CCl4 injury. As a result, notably, deviations of metabolites 1, 3, 4, 7 and 9 in the process of CCl4-induced acute liver injury were improved by CS treatment, which suggested that CS mediated synergistically abnormalities of the metabolic pathways, composed of alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism and glycerolipid metabolism. In this study, it was the first report to investigate the hepatoprotective effect of the CS based on metabonomics strategy, which may be a potentially powerful tool to interpret the action mechanism of traditional Chinese folk medicines.

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