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J Hepatol. 2003 Jun;38(6):762-9.

Herbal medicine Inchin-ko-to (TJ-135) prevents liver fibrosis and enzyme-altered lesions in rat liver cirrhosis induced by a choline-deficient L-amino acid-defined diet.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Minami-Kogushi 1-1-1 Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.



The herbal medicine Inchin-ko-to (TJ-135), extract power from three herbs, has recently been reported possessing anti-apoptotic activity. The aim of this study was to investigate whether TJ-135 has any influence on the development of preneoplastic lesions as well as liver fibrosis.


The effects of the TJ-135 were examined using the choline-deficient L-amino acid-defined diet-induced liver fibrosis model. In addition, the effect of TJ-135 on mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, type III procollagen mRNA expression and the medium N-terminal procollagen III propeptide (PIIINP) concentration in a hepatic stellate cell line (LI90) were examined.


TJ-135 prevented fibrosis in a dose-dependent manner up to 1.5% (w/w). TJ-135 also reduced the expression of type III procollagen mRNA in the liver, as well as the number of activated stellate cells. Furthermore, TJ-135 reduced the area of preneoplastic lesions in the liver. With LI90 cells, TJ-135 reduced MAP kinase (ERK and JNK but not P38) activities resulting in reduced type III procollagen mRNA and PIIINP concentrations in the medium in a dose-dependent manner.


These results indicate that although TJ-135 has anti-apoptotic activity, TJ-135 does not increase preneoplastic lesions but significantly reduces liver fibrosis through the inhibition of stellate cell activation without a reduction of hepatocyte cell death.

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