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Esculetin Ameliorates Carbon Tetrachloride-Mediated Hepatic Apoptosis in Rats

School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih road, Taichung 404, Taiwan
School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih road, Taichung, Taichung 404, Taiwan
Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, Taoyuan, 325, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, 91, Hsueh-Shih road, Taichung 404, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(6), 4053-4067;
Received: 12 April 2011 / Revised: 29 May 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Esculetin (ESC) is a coumarin that is present in several plants such as Fraxinus rhynchophylla and Artemisia capillaris. Our previous study found that FR ethanol extract (FREtOH) significantly ameliorated rats’ liver function. This study was intended to investigate the protective mechanism of ESC in hepatic apoptosis in rats induced by carbon tetrachloride. Rat hepatic apoptosis was induced by oral administration of CCl4. All rats were administered orally with CCl4 (20%, 0.5 mL/rat) twice a week for 8 weeks. Rats in the ESC groups were treated daily with ESC, and silymarin group were treated daily with silymarin. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) as well as the activities of the anti-oxidative enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase in the liver were measured. In addition, expression of liver apoptosis proteins and anti-apoptotic proteins were detected. ESC (100, 500 mg/kg) significantly reduced the elevated activities of serum ALT and AST caused by CCl4 and significantly increased the activities of catalase, GPx and SOD. Furthermore, ESC (100, 500 mg/kg) significantly decreased the levels of the proapoptotic proteins (t-Bid, Bak and Bad) and significantly increased the levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL). ESC inhibited the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. In addition, the levels of activated caspase-9 and activated caspase-3 were significantly decreased in rats treated with ESC than those in rats treated with CCl4 alone. ESC significantly reduced CCl4-induced hepatic apoptosis in rats. View Full-Text
Keywords: esculetin; carbon tetrachloride; apoptosis esculetin; carbon tetrachloride; apoptosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Tien, Y.-C.; Liao, J.-C.; Chiu, C.-S.; Huang, T.-H.; Huang, C.-Y.; Chang, W.-T.; Peng, W.-H. Esculetin Ameliorates Carbon Tetrachloride-Mediated Hepatic Apoptosis in Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 4053-4067.

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