JOURNAL ARTICLE

Traditional Chinese Medicine improves dysfunction of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein on abnormalities in lipid metabolism in ethanol-fed rats

Hyun Jeong Kwon, Sun Hee Hyun, Se Young Choung
BioFactors 2005, 23 (3): 163-76
16410638
We report the effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on alcohol-induced fatty liver in rats. TCM consists of Astragalus membranaceus, Morus alba, Crataegus pinnatifida, Alisma oriental, Salvia miltiorrhiza and Pueraria lobata. The rats were separated randomly into five groups; the CD group (n=10), which was fed a control diet for 10 weeks, the ED group (n=10), which was fed an isocaloric liquid diet containing ethanol for 10 weeks and given daily oral doses of TCM (0.222 g/kg/day; TCM222, 0.667 g/kg/day; TCM667, and 2.000 g/kg/day; TCM2000, n=10, respectively) over the last four weeks of the study. The ED group developed fatty livers, as determined by their lipid profiles and liver histological findings. Compared with the control group, liver/body weight, plasma triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC), liver TG and TC, plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartic aminotransferase (AST) significantly increased in the ED group. Also, free fatty acids (FFA) levels increased in both plasma and liver during the administration of ethanol. On the other hand, when rats were administrated with TCM, their liver/body weight, plasma TG, TC and FFA, liver TG, TC and FFA, plasma ALT and AST decreased significantly and the degree of hepatic lipid droplets was markedly improved compared with those in the ED group. Proper function of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) is essential for the regulation of hepatic fatty acid metabolism. Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) is essential for the secretion of triglycerides from the liver. mRNAs for PPARalpha and MTP were reduced in the livers of ethanol-fed rats. TCM restored the mRNA levels of PPARalpha and MTP, and prevented development of fatty livers in ethanol-fed rats. Impairment of PPARalpha and MTP function during ethanol consumption contributes to the development of alcohol-induced fatty liver, which can be overcome by TCM.

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