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J Med Food. 2014 Jun;17(6):663-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.2834. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Antioxidant properties of proanthocyanidins attenuate carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced steatosis and liver injury in rats via CYP2E1 regulation.

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1 Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University , Dalian, Liaoning Province, China .


Liver steatosis is characterized by lipid dysregulation and fat accumulation in the liver and can lead to oxidative stress in liver. Since proanthocyanidins are present in plant-based foods and have powerful antioxidant properties, we investigated whether proanthocyanidins can prevent oxidative stress and subsequent liver injury. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) treatment can cause steatosis in rats that models both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in humans. We pre-treated rats by oral administration of proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds 7 days prior to intragastrically administering CCl4. Proanthocyanidin treatment continued for an additional 2 weeks, after which time liver and serum were harvested, and mediators of liver injury, oxidative stress, and histological features were evaluated. CCl4-treated rats exhibited significant increases in the following parameters as compared to non-treated rats: fat droplets in the liver, liver injury (ALT, AST), and DNA damage (8-OHdG). Additionally, CCl4 treatment decreased antioxidant enzymes SOD, GSH, GPX, and CAT in the liver due to their rapid depletion after battling against oxidative stress. Compared to CCl4-treated rats, treatment with proanthocyanidins effectively suppressed lipid accumulation, liver injury, DNA damage, as well as restored antioxidant enzyme levels. Further investigation revealed that proanthocyanidins treatment also inhibited expression of CYP2E1 in liver, which prevented the initial step of generating free radicals from CCl4. The data presented here show that treatment with orally administered proanthocyanidins prevented liver injury in the CCl4-induced steatosis model, likely through exerting antioxidant actions to suppress oxidative stress and inhibiting the free radical-generating CYP2E1 enzyme.


CYP2E1; fatty liver; grape seed extracts; hepatotoxicity; oxidative stress

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