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Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071623

Protective Effect of Glycyrrhizic Acid on Alcoholic Liver Injury in Rats by Modulating Lipid Metabolism

Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Quality Control of Hebei Province, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Hebei University, Baoding 071002, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract

Glycyrrhhizic acid (GA), including 18α-glycyrrhizic acid (18α-GA) and 18β-glycyrrhizic acid (18β-GA), is the main active ingredient of licorice. GA is generally considered an effective pharmacological strategy protecting against hepatic disease; however, the optimal compatibility proportion of 18α-GA and 18β-GA against alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and the underlying mechanism are not well established. Hence, this study was designed to explore the optimal compatibility proportion of 18α-GA and 18β-GA against ALD, followed by investigating the underlying mechanisms. SD rats were administered 40% ethanol once a day, accompanied by treatment with different proportions of 18α-GA and 18β-GA for four weeks. Then all rats were anesthetized with chloral hydrate and blood samples were taken from the abdominal aorta for biochemical assay. Livers were also collected and the liver function, lipid profile, ROS production, and mRNA and protein levels of related genes involved in lipid metabolism were assessed. The results showed that 18α-GA and 18β-GA, particularly at a proportion of 4:6, significantly reduced liver damage, lipid accumulation, and oxidative stress in ethanol-induced rats, as indicated by the decreased levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aminotransferase (AST) in serum, improvement of liver histopathological changes, regulation of total cholesterol (TC), total triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and modulation of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), and malonaldehyde (MDA). Moreover, the combination treatment with 18α-GA and 18β-GA substantially reduced the mRNA and protein levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and acetyl-coal carboxylase (ACC); meanwhile, increased levels of peroxisome proliferators activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) and carnitine palmitoy transferase-1 (CTP-1) in the liver tissues of ethanol-induced rats. In conclusion, our results indicated that the optimal compatibility proportion of 18α-GA and 18β-GA protecting against ALD was 4:6, and the mechanism was associated with the regulation of oxidative stress and lipid metabolism. View Full-Text
Keywords: 18α-glycyrrhizic acid; 18β-glycyrrhizic acid; optimal compatibility ratio; alcoholic liver disease 18α-glycyrrhizic acid; 18β-glycyrrhizic acid; optimal compatibility ratio; alcoholic liver disease
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Huo, X.; Yang, S.; Sun, X.; Meng, X.; Zhao, Y. Protective Effect of Glycyrrhizic Acid on Alcoholic Liver Injury in Rats by Modulating Lipid Metabolism. Molecules 2018, 23, 1623.

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