Published online Aug 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i15.2295
Revised: December 23, 2003
Accepted: January 15, 2004
Published online: August 1, 2004
AIM: To assess the inhibitory effect of Huangqi Zhechong decoction on hepatic fibrosis in rats induced by CCl4 plus alcohol and high fat low protein diet.
METHODS: Male SD rats were randomly divided into hepatic fibrosis model group, control group and 3 treatment groups consisting of 12 rats in each group. Except for the normal control group, all the rats were subcutaneously injected with CCl4 at a dosage of 3 mL/kg. In 3 treated groups, either high-dose group (9 mL/kg), or medium-dose group (6 mL/kg), or low-dose group (3 mL/kg) was daily gavaged with Huangqi Zhechong decoction, and saline vehicle was given to model and normal control rats. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and biochemical examinations were used to determine the changes of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN), type-III-procollagen-N- peptide (PIIIP), and type IV collagen content in serum, and hydroxyproline (Hyp) content in liver after sacrificing the rats. Pathologic changes, particularly fibrosis were examined by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Van Gieson staining.
RESULTS: Compared with the model control group, serum ALT, AST, HA, LN, PIIIP and type IV collagen levels dropped markedly in Huangqi Zhechong decoction groups, especially in the medium-dose Huangqi Zhechong decoction group (1 954 ± 576 U/L vs 759 ± 380 U/L, 2 735 ± 786 U/L vs 1 259 ± 829 U/L, 42.74 ± 7.04 ng/mL vs 20.68 ± 5.85 ng/mL, 31.62 ± 5.84 ng/mL vs 14.87 ± 1.45 ng/mL, 3.26 ± 0.69 ng/mL vs 1.47 ± 0.46 ng/mL, 77.68 ± 20.23 ng/mL vs 25.64 ± 4.68 ng/mL, respectively) (P < 0.05). The Hyp content in liver tissue was also markedly decreased (26.47 ± 11.24 mg/mgprot vs 9.89 ± 3.74 mg/mgprot) (P < 0.01). Moreover, the stage of the rat liver fibrosis in Huangqi Zhechong decoction groups was lower than that in model group, and more dramatic drop was observed in medium-dose Huangqi Zhechong decoction group (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Huangqi Zhechong decoction can inhibit hepatic fibrosis resulted from chronic liver injure, retard the development of cirrhosis, and notably ameliorate the liver function. It may be a safe and effective therapeutic drug for patients with fibrosis.