J Nutr Health.  2014 Apr;47(2):106-112. 10.4163/jnh.2014.47.2.106.

Protective effects of Acanthopanax koreanum Kakai extract against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in Sprague-Dawley rats

  • 1Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Soongeui Women's College, Seoul 100-751, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, Korea. orank@ewha.ac.kr


This study was conducted in order to investigate the protective effects of ethanolic extract of Acanthopanax koreanum Nakai (AE) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver injury in rats.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups in order to receive the following experimental diets with intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 (2.0 mL/kg body weight, 20% solution 0.65 mL) for eight weeks (n = 8 per group): CCl4 control (CON), CCl4 + AE 1% (AE1), CCl4 + AE 3% (AE3), or CCl4 + acanthoic acid 0.037%, which is equivalent to AE 3% (AA).
Highest serum ALT activity and albumin level were observed in the CCL4 control group, but showed a significant decrease by either AE or AA supplementation in a dose-dependent manner (p = 0.0063 and 0.0076, respectively). Both hemotoxylin and eosin staining and Masson's staining indicated remarkable prevention of CCl4-induced liver damage in the AE3 group. TNFalpha and IL-6 production were significantly lowered in the AE treated groups, but not in the AA group (p = 0.0016 and p = 0.0002, respectively). The effects of AE3 were greater than those of AA for inflammation and liver toxicity biomarkers.
Taken together, the results suggested that ethanolic extract of Acanthopanax koreanum Nakai provided hepa-toprotective effects, leading to the reduction of inflammatory response. In addition, the effect of AE was superior to that of single compound AA.


Acanthopanax koreanum Nakai; hepatoprotective effects; tumor necrosis factor-alpha; interleukin-6
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