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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 30;7:45425. doi: 10.1038/srep45425.

Modified SJH alleviates FFAs-induced hepatic steatosis through leptin signaling pathways.

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Department of Pathology, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongguk University, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongguk University, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
Applied Surface Technology Inc., 11th Floor, Bldg. A, Advance Institutes of Convergence Technology, Suwon, 16229, Republic of Korea.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
College of Pharmacy and Integrated Research Institute for Drug Development, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
Research Institute of Biotechnology, Dongguk University, Goyang, Republic of Korea.


Samjunghwan (SJH) is an herbal formula used in traditional Korean medicine. This prescription has long been used in treatment of aging and lifestyle diseases. The current study showed the effect and mechanisms of anti-hepatic steatosis action of modified SJH (mSJH) in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with mSJH resulted in significantly decreased intracellular lipid accumulation in steatosis-induced cells. Furthermore, mSJH triggered the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase as well as increased the expression of leptin at both protein and gene levels. In addition, C57BL6 mice fed high-fat diet (HFD) showed significant improvements in body, liver weights and fat weights; and serum, hepatic and fecal lipid parameters in response to the treatment with mSJH. Furthermore, mSJH showed favorable effects on the hepatic expression of several genes related to lipid metabolism. Betaine, one of constituents of mSJH exerted fundamental beneficial impact on FFAs-induced cells. However, the beneficial effects of mSJH were diminished upon blocking of leptin signaling by dexamethasone, suggesting the leptin signaling as a key component in mSJH-mediated modulation of lipid homeostasis. Our results suggest that mSJH exerts an anti-hepatic steatosis effect via activation of leptin and associated signaling cascades related to lipid metabolism.

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