Dietary nucleotides play a role in maintaining the immune responses of both animals and humans. Oral administration of nucleic acids from salmon milt have physiological functions in the cellular metabolism, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of human small intestinal epithelial cells. In this study, we examined the effects of DNA-rich nucleic acids prepared from salmon milt (DNSM) on the development of liver fibrosis in an in vivo ethanol-carbon tetrachloride cirrhosis model. Plasma aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase were significantly less active in the DNSM-treated group than in the ethanol plus carbon tetrachloride (CCl4
)-treated group. Collagen accumulation in the liver and hepatic necrosis were observed histologically in ethanol plus CCl4
-treated rats; however, DNSM-treatment fully protected rats against ethanol plus CCl4
-induced liver fibrosis and necrosis. Furthermore, we examined whether DNSM had a preventive effect against alcohol-induced liver injury by regulating the cytochrome p450 2E1 (CYP2E1)-mediated oxidative stress pathway in an in vivo model. In this model, CYP2E1 activity in ethanol plus CCl4
-treated rats increased significantly, but DNSM-treatment suppressed the enzyme’s activity and reduced intracellular thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels. Furthermore, the hepatocytes treated with 100 mM ethanol induced an increase in cell death and were not restored to the control levels when treated with DNSM, suggesting that digestive products of DNSM are effective for the prevention of alcohol-induced liver injury. Deoxyadenosine suppressed the ethanol-induced increase in cell death and increased the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase. These results suggest that DNSM treatment represents a novel tool for the prevention of alcohol-induced liver injury.
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