Luteolin alleviates alcoholic liver disease induced by chronic and binge ethanol feeding in mice

Gaigai Liu, Yuxue Zhang, Chunchun Liu, Daqian Xu, Rui Zhang, Yuan Cheng, Yi Pan, Cheng Huang, Yan Chen
Journal of Nutrition 2014, 144 (7): 1009-15
Ethanol consumption can lead to hepatic steatosis that contributes to late-stage liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we investigated the potential protective effect of a flavonoid, luteolin, on ethanol-induced fatty liver development and liver injury. Six-wk-old male C57BL/6 mice were divided into 3 groups: a control group; a group exposed to alcohol by using a chronic and binge ethanol feeding protocol (EtOH); and a group that was administered daily 50 mg/kg of luteolin in addition to ethanol exposure (EtOH + Lut). A chronic and binge ethanol feeding protocol was used, including chronic ethanol consumption (1%, 2%, and 4% for 3 d, and 5% for 9 d) and a binge (30% ethanol) on the last day. Compared with the control group, the EtOH group had a significant elevation in serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (561%), triglyceride (TG) (47%), and LDL cholesterol (95%), together with lipid accumulation in the liver. Compared with the EtOH group, the EtOH + Lut group had significant reductions in serum concentrations of ALT (43%), TG (22%), LDL cholesterol (52%), and lipid accumulation in the liver. Ethanol elevated liver expression of lipogenic genes including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (Srebp1c) (560%), fatty acid synthase (Fasn) (190%), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (Acc) (48%), and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (Scd1) (286%). Luteolin reduced ethanol-induced expression of these genes in the liver: Srebp1c (79%), Fasn (80%), Acc (60%), and Scd1 (89%). In cultured hepatocytes, luteolin prevented alcohol-induced lipid accumulation and increase in the expression of lipogenic genes. The transcriptional activity of the master regulator of lipid synthesis, sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP), was enhanced by ethanol treatment (160%) and reduced by luteolin administration (67%). In addition, ethanol-induced reduction of AMP-activated protein kinase and SREBP-1c phosphorylation was abrogated by luteolin. Collectively, our study indicates that luteolin is effective in ameliorating ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis and injury.

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