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J Med Food. 2015 Feb;18(2):182-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.3159. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Chlorella ethanol extract induced phase II enzyme through NFE2L2 (nuclear factor [erythroid-derived] 2-like 2, NRF2) activation and protected ethanol-induced hepatoxicity.

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Department of Marine Biotechnology, Gangneung-Wonju National University , Gangneung, Korea.


In this study, we investigated the hepatoprotective effects of ethanol extracts from Chlorella vulgaris (CH) on animals. We measured its effect on the quinone reductase (QR) activity in Hepa1c1c7 cells, finding that CH induced a significantly higher QR activity in these cells. We isolated the active fraction (CH F4-2) from CH using chromatography methods. CH F4-2 may activate cellular antioxidant enzymes through upregulation of the Nrf2 pathway in hepatocarcinoma cells with CH F4-2 (25.0-200 μg/mL) for 48 h. Furthermore, CH F4-2 increased the expression of NQO1 [


quinone oxidoreductase, also known as QR], heme oxygenase-1, and glutathione-S-transferase P. Moreover, we found that ethanol-induced hepatic pathological changes-elevations in glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase-were significantly decreased. The inhibitory effect of CH on alcohol-induced liver injury was associated with the suppression of alcohol-induced increases in intestinal permeability. The ethanol extract from CH was found to induce QR activation, making it a potentially good candidate for a hepatoprotection agent.


chlorella; ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity; hepatoprotective; quinone reductase; rat

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