Chronic alcohol intake leads to alcoholic fatty liver. The pathogenesis of alcoholic fatty liver is related to abnormal lipid accumulation, oxidative stress, endotoxins, and cytokines. Solanum muricatum
Ait. (Pepino) is a plant food commonly cultivated in the Penghu island, Taiwan. Previous studies indicated that the aqueous extract of pepino was able to attenuate diabetic progression via its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the mechanisms of the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of pepino leaf in preventing alcoholic fatty liver remain unknown. In this study, Lieber–DeCarli ethanol-containing liquid diet was used to induce alcoholic hepatic injury in C57BL/6 mice. The hepatoprotective effects and the related mechanisms of aqueous extract of pepino leaf (AEPL) were examined. Our results showed that 2% AEPL treatments protected the liver from ethanol-induced injury through reducing serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) (all p
< 0.05). AEPL had the effects in improving the ethanol-induced lipid accumulation in mice under histological examination. Molecular data indicated that the anti-lipid accumulation effect of AEPL might be mediated via inducing hepatic levels of phospho-adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase (p-AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α, and reducing the expressions of hepatic lipogenic enzymes, including sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), and fatty acid synthase (FAS) (all p
< 0.05). AEPL also decreased hepatic levels of thiobarbituric acid relative substances (TBARS), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-6, as well as the expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) (all p
< 0.05). Moreover, AEPL significantly elevated the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH) content compared to the ethanol-fed group (all p
< 0.05). Our present study suggests that AEPL could protect the liver against ethanol-induced oxidative injury and lipid accumulation.
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