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Toxicol Res. 2011 Dec;27(4):211-6. doi: 10.5487/TR.2011.27.4.211.

Effects of Medicinal herb Extracts and their Components on Steatogenic Hepatotoxicity in Sk-hep1 Cells.

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1
College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.

Abstract

Herbal medicines are widely used in many countries for the treatment of many diseases. Although the use of herb extracts as alternative medicine is growing, their toxicological properties have not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, we have investigated the effects of water and ethanol extracts of 18 herbs on the hepatic lipid metabolism and steatogenic hepatotoxicity. Ethanol extracts of Cirsium japonicum, Carthamus tinctorius, Rehmanniae glutinosa (preparata), Polygala tenuifolia, Foeniculum vulgare, Polygonum multiflorum, and Acorus gramineus and water extracts of Polygonum multiflorum and Rehmanniae glutinosa induced lipid accumulation in Sk-hep1 human hepatoma cells as determined by Nile red staining. These extracts increased the luciferase activity of sterol regulatory element (SRE) and decreased that of peroxisome proliferator response element (PPRE), indicating the possibilities of enhanced fatty acid synthesis and decreased fatty acid oxidation. To identify the components responsible for the fat accumulation, we tested 50 chemicals isolated from the nine herbs. Apigenin, luteolin, pectolinarin and lupeol from Cirsium japonicum, 8-methoxypsoralen and umbelliferone from Foeniculum vulgare and pomonic acid and jiocerebroside from Rehmanniae glutinosa significantly increased the accumulation of lipid droplets. These results suggest that ethanol extracts of Cirsium japonicum, Carthamus tinctorius, Rehmanniae glutinosa (preparata), Polygala tenuifolia, Foeniculum vulgare, Polygonum multiflorum, and Acorus gramineus and water extracts of Polygonum multiflorum and Rehmanniae glutinosa can cause fatty liver disease by decreasing β-oxidation of fatty acid and increasing lipogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

Herbal medicine; In vitro screening; Nile red; PPARα; SREBP; Steatosis

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