Journal of physiology and biochemistry

Protective effects of hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) on alcohol-induced liver injury in rats.

PMID 25626885


Hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA), the main active natural constituent extracted from Carthamus tinctorius L., has been widely used for the treatment of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study is to explore the effect of HSYA on alcohol-induced liver injury and the underlying mechanism. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used to establish the liver injury model induced by alcohol. HSYA treatment ameliorated serum biochemical indicators by reducing the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), hyaluronan (HA), laminin (LN), and type III precollagen (III-C) in rats. HSYA efficiently increased the activity and messenger RNA (mRNA) of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in rat liver tissue compared with those of model group, which was obviously reduced by alcohol. HSYA also apparently decreased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in rat liver tissue compared with those of model group, which was obviously enhanced by alcohol. Histological studies demonstrated that HSYA substantially reduced the number of macro- and micro-vesicular steatosis, suppressed hepatic fibrogenesis and shrunk ballooning degeneration areas, ameliorated the severity of liver damage induced by long-term drinking, and finally improved the liver architecture. In addition, immunohistochemistry study indicated that the activation of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) stimulated by alcohol in rat liver tissue was significantly blocked by HSYA. Collectively, these data demonstrated that HSYA can effectively protect the liver of rats from long-term alcohol injury, which relates with the enhanced antioxidant capacity of liver tissues and inhibition of TGF-β1 expression.