Hepatoprotective effect of quercetin against LPS/d-GalN induced acute liver injury in mice by inhibiting the IKK/NF-κB and MAPK signal pathways
Quercetin is regarded as a potential hepatoprotective agent in the treatment of acute liver injury. However, the underlying mechanism of how quercetin to protect against lipopolysaccharides/d-galactosamine (LPS/d-GalN) induced acute liver injury remains unclear. To investigate the mechanism, the antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic responses were performed. The results showed that quercetin pretreatment improved the survival rate and substantially reduced the liver histopathological changes in mice. It also alleviated the hepatic damage and reduced the productions of oxidative markers induced by LPS/d-GalN. In addition, quercetin pretreatment significantly diminished the production of inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β, and inhibited the activation of the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways as well as the expression of apoptotic-related proteins induced by LPS/d-GalN. We found that the potential mechanism of this quercetin-induced protection is mainly mediated through its powerful antioxidative capacity, inhibition of hepatocyte apoptosis and suppression of inflammatory cytokines through the IKK/NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Thus, quercetin shows a promising therapeutic effect on acute liver injury in mice.