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Cell Biochem Funct. 2014 Aug;32(6):520-9. doi: 10.1002/cbf.3046. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Preventive effects of ZPDC glycoprotein (24 kDa) on hepatotoxicity induced by mercury chloride in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Molecular Biochemistry Laboratory, Biotechnology Research Institute & Center for the Control of Animal Hazards Using Biotechnology (BK21), Chonnam National University, Gwang-ju, Korea.


Mercury is a potent environmental contaminant that exerts toxic effect on various vital organs in the human body. Recently, we isolated glycoprotein from Zanthoxylum piperitum DC (ZPDC), which has antioxidant and anticancer effects. In the present study, we determined the preventive effects of ZPDC glycoprotein on hepatic damage induced by mercury chloride (HgCl2 ). We evaluated the activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), antioxidant enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)], extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), cyclo-oxygenase (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS), and activator protein (AP-1) and the quantitative expressions of nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf2), heme oxygenase (HO-1), metallothionein (MT) and reduced glutathione (GSH) in mercury-chloride-exposed (50 μM and 10 mg/kg body weight) primary cultured hepatocytes and ICR mice, using biochemical assays, radioactivity and immunoblot analysis. The results demonstrated that ZPDC glycoprotein decreased the levels of LDH, ALT, HO-1 and MT, whereas it increased the activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT and GPx) and reduced GSH in mercury-chloride-exposed primary cultured hepatocytes. Also, it suppressed arachidonic acid release and expression of ERK, p38 MAPK, COX-2, iNOS, AP-1 and Nrf-2 in primary cultured hepatocytes and ICR mice exposed to mercury chloride. Collectively, ZPDC glycoprotein may have potential applications to prevent hepatotoxicity induced by mercury chloride.


COX-2; ZPDC glycoprotein (24 kDa); arachidonic acid; mercury chloride (HgCl2)

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