Dioscorea panthaica (Dioscorea) is an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine but the effects of DPE on liver fibrosis have not yet been reported. It was undertaken to evaluate the protective effects of the aqueous extracts of D. panthaica Prain et Burkil (DPE) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver fibrosis in rats and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these protective effects in rats. Liver fibrosis was produced by hypodermics injection of CCl4 (3 ml/kg body weight, 4:6 in olive oil, twice per week) after eight weeks. The rat model of liver fibrosis was used to assess the effect of daily oral administration of DPE on the indexes of liver fibrosis. Histological and hepatic hydroxyproline examination revealed that DPE significantly arrested the progression of liver fibrosis. The decrease of the hepatic glutathione and the increase of the lipid peroxidative products, indicating the altered redox state during the development of CCl4- induced liver fibrosis, were partially normalized after DPE treatment. Additionally, DPE may reduce a-smooth muscle actin (SMA) protein level and HSC activation of CCl4-treated rats. Oral administration of DPE may significantly reduce CCl4-induced liver fibrosis in rats, probably through the reduction of HSC activation.
Key words: Dioscorea panthaica, oxidative stress, liver fibrosis.
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