Huperzine A attenuates hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury via anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic pathways

Zhe Xu, Yang Wang
Molecular Medicine Reports 2014, 10 (2): 701-6
Hepatic ischemia reperfusion (HI/R) injury may occur during liver transplantation and remains a serious concern in clinical practice. Huperzine A (HupA), an alkaloid isolated from the Chinese traditional medicine Huperzia serrata, has been demonstrated to possess anti‑oxidative and anti‑apoptotic properties. In the present study, a rat model of HI/R was established by clamping the hepatic artery, the hepatoportal vein and the bile duct with a vascular clamp for 30 min followed by reperfusion for 6 h under anesthesia. HupA was injected into the tail vein 5 min prior to the induction of HI/R at doses of 167 and 500 µg/kg. The histopathological assessment of the liver was performed using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were assayed in the serum samples. The tissue levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), malondiadehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) were also measured spectrophotometrically. Furthermore, the protein expression of caspase‑3, Bcl‑2 and Bax in hepatic tissues was detected via western blot analysis. Treatment of Wistar rats with HupA at doses of 167 and 500 µg/kg markedly attenuated HI/R injury as observed histologically. In addition, the significant reductions of serum ALT and AST were observed in HupA‑treated ischemic rats. Furthermore, HupA treatment enhanced the activity of hepatic tissue SOD, CAT and GSH, but decreased the MDA tissue content. Western blot analysis revealed elevated levels of Bcl‑2 expression but decreased Bax and caspase‑3 tissue expression at the protein level in the HupA‑treated group. The present data suggest that HupA attenuates the HI/R injury of rats through its anti‑oxidative and anti‑apoptotic signaling pathways.

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