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Mol Med Rep. 2019 Nov;20(5):4081-4090. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2019.10660. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Mechanism of glycyrrhizin on ferroptosis during acute liver failure by inhibiting oxidative stress.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, P.R. China.


The present study aimed to investigate the anti‑ferroptosis effects of the HMGB1 inhibitor glycyrrhizin (GLY). The present study used a cell and animal model of acute liver failure (ALF), induced using tumor necrosis factor‑α, lipopolysaccharide and D‑galactosamine, to investigate the effects of GLY. The expression of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and high mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1), heme oxygenase‑1 (HO‑1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (Nrf2) were detected were detected by western blotting in L02 hepatocytes and mouse liver. The expression of GPX4 and HMGB1 in L02 hepatocytes and mouse liver was detected by immunofluorescence. The pathological changes to liver tissues were determined by hematoxylin and eosin staining. The levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Fe2+, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH) were tested using kits. Compared with the normal group, the degree of liver damage and liver function in the model animal group was severe. The protein levels of HMGB1 in L02 cells and liver tissues were significantly increased. The expression of NRF2, HO‑1 and GPX4 was significantly decreased. The levels of LDH, Fe2+, malondialdehyde (MDA) and ROS were increased, whereas the level of GSH was decreased. Treatment with GLY reduced the degree of liver damage, the expression of HMGB1 was decreased, and the levels of Nrf2, HO‑1 and GPX4 were increased. The levels of LDH, Fe2+, MDA, ROS were decreased, while the level of GSH was increased by GLY treatment. The results of the present study indicated that HMGB1 is involved in the process of ferroptosis. The HMGB1 inhibitor GLY significantly reduced the degree of ferroptosis during ALF by inhibiting oxidative stress.

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