Eupatilin attenuates bile acid-induced hepatocyte apoptosis

Park, Su Cheol; Yoon, Jung-Hwan; Kim, Won; Gwak, Geum-Youn; Kim, Kang Mo; Lee, Sung-Hee; Lee, Soo-Mi; Lee, Hyo-Suk
August 2006
Journal of Gastroenterology;Aug2006, Vol. 41 Issue 8, p772
Academic Journal
In cases of cholestasis, bile acids induce hepatocyte apoptosis by activating death receptor-mediated apoptotic signaling cascades. Eupatilin (5,7-dihydroxy-3,4,6-trimethoxyflavone) is a pharmacologically active ingredient found in Artemisia asiatica and exhibits cytoprotective effects against experimentally induced gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and hepatic damage. This study was undertaken to examine if eupatilin modulates bile acid-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. Huh-BAT cells, a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line stably transfected with a bile acid transporter, were used in this study. Apoptosis was quantified using 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride staining, and its signaling cascades were explored by immunoblot analysis. Kinase signaling was evaluated by immunoblotting and by using selective inhibitors. Eupatilin's in vivo effect on bile acid-induced hepatocyte apoptosis was explored in bile duct-ligated rats. Eupatilin significantly reduced bile acid-mediated hepatocyte apoptosis by attenuating bile acid-induced caspase 8 cleavage. Eupatilin diminished the bile acid-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, including p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. In particular, the eupatilin-mediated inhibition of bile acid-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation was found to be responsible for attenuating caspase 8 cleavage. Moreover, eupatilin diminished hepatocyte apoptosis in bile duct-ligated rats. Eupatilin attenuates bile acid-induced hepatocyte apoptosis by suppressing bile acid-induced kinase activation. Therefore, eupatilin might be therapeutically efficacious in a variety of human liver diseases associated with cholestasis.


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