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Front Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 1;6:215. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00215. eCollection 2015.

Glycyrrhizic acid alleviates bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats.

Author information

1
Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian China.
2
Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian China.
3
Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian China.
4
Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian China.

Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive and lethal form of interstitial lung disease that lacks effective therapies at present. Glycyrrhizic acid (GA), a natural compound extracted from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine Glycyrrhiza glabra, was recently reported to benefit lung injury and liver fibrosis in animal models, yet whether GA has a therapeutic effect on pulmonary fibrosis is unknown. In this study, we investigated the potential therapeutic effect of GA on pulmonary fibrosis in a rat model with bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The results indicated that GA treatment remarkably ameliorated BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis and attenuated BLM-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and activation of transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathway in the lungs. Further, we demonstrated that GA treatment inhibited proliferation of 3T6 fibroblast cells, induced cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in vitro, implying that GA-mediated suppression of fibroproliferation may contribute to the anti-fibrotic effect against BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In summary, our study suggests a therapeutic potential of GA in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.

KEYWORDS:

bleomycin; fibroproliferation; glycyrrhizic acid; pulmonary fibrosis; transforming growth factor-beta

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