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Chin J Integr Med. 2010 Apr;16(2):151-6. doi: 10.1007/s11655-010-0151-7. Epub 2010 May 16.

Effect of emodin in suppressing acute rejection following liver allograft transplantation in rats.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (310003), China.



To investigate the mechanism of action of emodin for suppressing acute allograft rejection in a rat model of liver transplantation.


Brown Norway (BW) recipient rats of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) were divided into three groups, Group A receiving isografting (with BW rats as donor), Group B receiving allografting (with Lewis rats as donor), Group C receiving allografting and emodin treatment (50 mg/kg daily). They were sacrificed on day 7 of post-transplantation, and their hepatic histology, plasma cytokine levels, and T-cell subset expression were detected.


Compared with those in Group A, rats: in Group B exhibited severe allograft rejection with a rejection activity index (RAI) of 7.67+/-0.98, extensive hepatocellular apoptosis with an apoptosis index (AI) of 35.83+/-2.32, and elevated plasma levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-10 (IL-10), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), CD4(+) and CD4 CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio. However, recipients in Group C showed a decrease in histological grade of rejection and hepatocellular apoptosis, as well as a decrease in plasma levels of IL-2, TNF-alpha, CD4(+) and CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio, but elevated levels of IL-10 as compared with the allograft group.


Post-OLT acute rejection could be attenuated by emodin, its mechanism of action may be associated with protecting hepatocytes from apoptosis, polarizing the Th 1 paradigm to Th2, and inhibiting the proliferation of CD4(+) T cell in plasma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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