Ganoderic acid A from Ganoderma lucidum protects against alcoholic liver injury through ameliorating the lipid metabolism and modulating the intestinal microbial composition†
Alcoholic liver injury is mainly caused by long-term excessive alcohol consumption and has become a global public threat to human health. It is well known that Ganoderma lucidum has excellent beneficial effects on liver function and lipid metabolism. The object of this study was to investigate the hepatoprotective effects of ganoderic acid A (GAA, one of the main triterpenoids in G. lucidum) against alcohol-induced liver injury and reveal the underlying mechanisms of its protective effects. The results showed that oral administration of GAA significantly inhibited the abnormal elevation of the liver index, serum total triglyceride (TG), cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in mice exposed to alcohol intake, and also significantly protected the liver against alcohol-induced excessive lipid accumulation and pathological changes. Besides, alcohol-induced oxidative stress in the liver was significantly ameliorated by the dietary intervention of GAA through decreasing the hepatic levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), and increasing hepatic activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), and hepatic levels of glutathione (GSH). In addition, GAA intervention evidently ameliorated intestinal microbial disorder by markedly increasing the abundance of Muribaculaceae, Prevotellaceae, Jeotgalicoccus, Bilophila, Family_XIII_UCG_001, Aerococcus, Ruminococcaceae_UCG_005, Harryflintia, Christensenellaceae, Rumonpcpccaceae, Prevotelaceae_UCG_001, Clostridiales_vadinBB60_group, Parasutterella and Bifidobacterium, but decreasing the proportion of Lactobacillus, Burkholderia_Caballeroria_Paraburkholderia, Escherichia_Shigella and Erysipelatoclostridium. Furthermore, liver metabolomics based on UPLC-QTOF/MS demonstrated that oral administration of GAA had a significant regulatory effect on the composition of liver metabolites in mice exposed to alcohol intake, especially the levels of the biomarkers involved in the metabolic pathways of riboflavin metabolism, glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, fructose and mannose metabolism. Moreover, dietary supplementation of GAA significantly regulated the hepatic mRNA levels of lipid metabolism and inflammatory response related genes. Conclusively, these findings demonstrate that GAA has beneficial effects on alleviating alcohol-induced liver injury and is expected to become a new functional food ingredient for the prevention of alcoholic liver injury.