Protective effects of alisol B 23-acetate from edible botanical Rhizoma alismatis against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity is a common syndrome with simultaneous severe hepatocyte death and acute cholestasis. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the hepatoprotective effect of alisol B 23-acetate (AB23A), a natural triterpenoid from edible botanical Rhizoma alismatis, on acute hepatotoxicity induced by CCl4 in mice, and further to elucidate the involvement of farnesoid X receptor (FXR), signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) in the hepatoprotective effect. H&E staining, BrdU immunohistochemistry and TUNEL assay were used to identify the amelioration of histopathological changes, hepatocyte proliferation and apoptosis. Real-time PCR and western blot assay were used to elucidate the mechanisms underlying AB23A hepatoprotection. The results indicated that AB23A treatment in a dose-dependent manner resulted in protection against hepatotoxicity induced by CCl4via FXR activation. Through FXR activation, AB23A promoted hepatocyte proliferation via an induction in hepatic levels of FoxM1b, Cyclin D1 and Cyclin B1. AB23A also reduced hepatic bile acids through a decrease in hepatic uptake transporter Ntcp, bile acid synthetic enzymes Cyp7a1, Cyp8b1, and an increase in efflux transporter Bsep, Mrp2 expression. In addition, AB23A induced the expression of STAT3 phosphorylation, and STAT3 target genes Bcl-xl and SOCS3, resulting in decreased hepatocyte apoptosis. In conclusion, AB23A produces a protective effect against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity, due to FXR and STAT3-mediated gene regulation.