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J Surg Res. 2011 Apr;166(2):e205-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.10.005. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Triptolide alleviates hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury by attenuating oxidative stress and inhibiting NF-κB activity in mice.

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Liver Transplantation Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, Nanjing, China.



Hepatic I/R injury is unavoidable in liver transplantation and surgery. This remains a significant problem in surgical procedures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of triptolide on liver ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and related mechanisms in mice.


Male C57BL/6 mice were randomized into four groups: (1) sham group; (2) sham-triptolide group; (3) I/R group; and (4) I-R/triptolide group. Ninety minutes of warm ischemia was induced and flow by 24 h reperfusion. Serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase were assayed, pathologic alterations and (NF)-κB p65 immunohistochemistry were observed. Liver malondialdehyde (MDA) level, activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities, and activity of neutrophil accumulation marker myeloperoxidase (MPO) were measured. TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β mRNA were detected by RT-PCR, whereas nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 and IκBα were assessed with Western blotting.


Plasma aminotransferase activity was higher in the I/R group than in the I/R-triptolide group. MDA level and neutrophil infiltration were also markedly reduced, while SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px levels increased in I/R-triptolide group compared with I/R group. In group 4, histopathologic changes were significantly attenuated in triptolide-treated livers. In comparison with group 3, triptolide reduced NF-κB p65 nuclear and IκBα expression, and effectively suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokine level during the I/R.


These results suggest that triptolide has protective effects against hepatic I/R injury. Its mechanisms might be related to reduction of oxidative stress and neutrophil infiltration and inhibition NF-κB p65 activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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