Pharmaceutical biology

Lipidomics investigation of reversal effect of glycyrrhizin (GL) towards lithocholic acid (LCA)-induced alteration of phospholipid profiles.

PMID 25289528


Glycyrrhizin (GL), the major ingredient isolated from licorice, exerts multiple pharmacological activities. To elucidate the protective mechanism of GL towards lithocholic acid (LCA)-induced liver toxicity using lipidomics. GL (200 mg/kg) dissolved in corn oil was treated intraperitoneally for 7 d. On the 4th day, 200 mg/kg LCA was used to treat mice (i.p., twice daily) for another 4 d. The protective role of GL towards LCA-induced liver toxicity was investigated through evaluating the liver histology and the activity of alanine transaminase (ALT). The complete lipid profile was employed using UFLC-Triple TOF MS-based lipidomics. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 200 mg/kg GL can significantly protect LCA-induced liver damage, indicated by alleviated histology alteration and prevention of the ALT elevation. Lipidomics analysis can well separate the control group from LCA-treated group, and three lipid components were major contributors, including LPC 16:0, LPC 18:0, and LPC 18:2. GL treatment can significantly prevent LCA-induced reduction of these three lipid compounds, providing a new explanation for GL's protection mechanism towards LCA-induced liver toxicity. The recent study highlights the importance of lipidomics in elucidating the therapeutic mechanism of herbs.

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