2016 Volume 10 Issue 5 Pages 386-391
The rhizome of Dioscorea bulbifera Linn, traditionally used to treat thyroid disease and cancer in China, is reported to induce serious liver injury during clinical practice. Diosbulbin B (DB), a diterpene lactone, has been found to be the main toxic compound in D. bulbifera. The present study aims to investigate the protection of ferulic acid (FA) against DB-induced acute liver injury and its engaged mechanism. Mice were orally administered FA (20, 40, 80 mg/kg) once daily for 6 consecutive days; and then orally given DB (250 mg/kg) on the last day. Daily FA (40, 80 mg/kg) decreased DB (250 mg/kg)-induced increase in serum levels of alanine/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Histological evaluation showed that FA (80 mg/kg) ameliorated DB-induced hepatocellular degeneration and lymphocyte infiltration. Results of terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining assay showed that FA (80 mg/kg) decreased the DB-increased number of apoptotic hepatocytes. FA (40, 80 mg/kg) reduced DB-increased liver malondialdehyde (MDA) amount. FA (40, 80 mg/kg) decreased DB-increased serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and liver myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. FA (80 mg/kg) reversed the DB-induced decrease in expression of inhibitor of kappa B (IκB) and the increase in nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκBp65). Taken together, our results demonstrate that FA prevents DB-induced acute liver injury via inhibiting intrahepatic inflammation and liver apoptosis.