Topical Area: Dietary Bioactive Components
Ethanol consumption is associated with a spectrum of diseases in the liver ranging from steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We established an alcoholic liver disease model in mice to investigate the protective effects of the phytoextract blend (PB) including schisandra, grape seed and tart cherry.
A total of 100 mice were randomly divided into 5 groups. The groups were: a) control group, b) ethanol group and c) three experimental groups. Animals in the control and ethanol groups were orally gavaged with distilled water, while the other groups were given varying concentrations of PB for 30 days. The ethanol group and the treatment groups were then given ethanol for 15 days. The liver/somatic index, levels of ALT, AST, TBIL and TG in serum, and the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured. The liver tissues were stained with hematoxylineosin (H&E) for evaluation of histopathological changes.
The liver/somatic index was increased in the ethanol group while it was decreased nearly to the normal value in treated groups. ALT increased significantly in ethanol group. PB reduced serum ALT concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. Ethanol elevated AST in the ethanol group. Although PB low dose group showed increased AST levels, AST was decreased by medium and high doses of PB compared with the ethanol group. Ethanol slightly though not significantly downregulated TBIL level in the ethanol group, while low and medium doses of PB increased TBIL. Ethanol-induced TG upregulation was completely reversed by PB treatment. The expression of hepatic IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA were elevated after ethanol consumption, whereas these inflammatory cytokines were reduced after treatment. Ethanol induced necrosis and substantial small fat droplets in the liver section. However, livers of mice in all treated groups showed noticeable recovery with fewer small fat droplets and hepatocyte necrosis.
This study showed the PB containing schisandra, grape seed and tart cherry could protect liver by reducing hepatic steatosis and hepatocyte necrosis and alleviating inflammation. The PB used in this study may provide insights into the prevention and treatment of ethanol-induced liver injury.
Funding Sources : Nu Skin Research Funding