Aqueous extract of Yin-Chen-Hao decoction, a traditional Chinese prescription, exerts protective effects on concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in mice through inhibition of NF-κB

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In traditional oriental medicine, Yin-Chen-Hao decoction is used for the remedy of liver diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver, hepatocirrhosis and jaundice. However, despite extensive pharmacological study, the molecular mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effect of Yin-Chen-Hao decoction is poorly understood. In this study, we have investigated the pharmacological action on the mechanism of concanavalin A-induced T cell-dependent hepatitis in mice. Concanavalin A administration resulted in a severe liver injury. This was shown through increased levels of serum transaminase and lactic dehydrogenase, and increased liver DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity. Pretreatment with the aqueous extract from Yin-Chen-Hao decoction dosedependently inhibited the elevation in transaminase and lactic dehydrogenase activity, and reduced liver DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 levels. There was an improvement in histological changes including inflammatory infiltration, hepatocyte necrosis and degeneration, and Kupffer cell hyperplasia. In addition, Yin-Chen-Hao decoction significantly inhibited tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production in-vitro and in-vivo. Moreover, the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), which regulates TNF-α production, was blocked by Yin-Chen-Hao decoction in-vitro and in-vivo. In conclusion, Yin-Chen-Hao decoction was capable of regulating T-cell-mediated liver injury in-vivo. This event may have depended on the decrease of TNF-α production through the inhibition of NF-κB activation.

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