Antioxidation, anti-inflammation and anti-apoptosis by paeonol in LPS/d-GalN-induced acute liver failure in mice

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To evaluate the hepatoprotective effects and potential mechanisms of paeonol (Pae) against acute liver failure (ALF) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/d-galactosamine (d-GalN) in mice, we examined anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic activities of Pae. We found that Pae pretreatment markedly reduced the activities of alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase as well as the histopathological changes induced by LPS/d-GalN. Catalase, glutathione and superoxide dismutase activities increased and reactive oxygen species activity decreased after Pae treatment compared with LPS/d-GalN treatment. Pretreatment with Pae also significantly inhibited the expression levels of iNOS, nitric oxide (NO), COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). In addition, Pae administration prevented the phosphorylated expression of IκB kinase, inhibitor kappa B in the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway, and suppressed the phosphorylated expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun-N-terminal kinase and p38 in the MAPK signaling pathway. Pretreatment with Pae also inhibited hepatocyte apoptosis by reducing the expression of caspases 3, 8, 9, and Bax, and increasing Bcl-2. In total, protective effects of Pae against LPS/d-GalN-induced ALF in mice are attributed to its antioxidative effect, inflammatory suppression in NF-κB and MARK signaling pathways, and inhibition of hepatocyte apoptosis inhibition. Therefore, Pae can be a potential therapeutic agent in attenuating LPS/d-GalN-induced ALF in the future.

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