Chalcones as putative hepatoprotective agents: Preclinical evidence and molecular mechanisms

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Abstract

Chalcones form an important group of natural compounds and flavonoid precursors which are abundant in fruits, vegetables, and edible plants. These compounds have many beneficial properties including anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-amyloid, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, hypolipidemic, and cytoprotective.

Chalcone derivatives have protective effects on the liver in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic fatty liver, drug- and toxicant-induced liver injury, and liver cancer through several mechanisms. Chalcones improve adipocytes function and adiponectin secretion. They inhibit triglyceride synthesis, activating factors of hepatic stellate cells and extracellular matrix deposition and also elevate fatty acid oxidation. These effects of chalcones lead to liver injury improvement. In conclusion, chalcones with antioxidant, anti-fibrotic, and anti-inflammatory properties decrease liver injury markers and histological abnormality in liver injury.

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