Journal of biomedical science

Osthole ameliorates hepatic fibrosis and inhibits hepatic stellate cell activation.

PMID 26231226


Hepatic fibrosis is a dynamic process which ultimately leads to cirrhosis in almost patients with chronic hepatic injury. However, progressive fibrosis is a reversible scarring response. Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is the prevailing process during hepatic fibrosis. Osthole is an active component majorly contained in the fruit of Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cusson. This present study investigated the therapeutic effects of osthole on rat liver fibrosis and HSC activation. We established the thioacetamide (TAA)-model of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats to induce hepatic fibrosis. Rats were divided into three groups: control, TAA, and TAA + osthole (10 mg/kg). In vivo, osthole significantly reduced liver injury by diminishing levels of plasma AST and ALT, improving histological architecture, decreasing collagen and α-SMA accumulation, and improving hepatic fibrosis scores. Additionally, osthole reduced the expression of fibrosis-related genes significantly. Osthole also suppressed the production of fibrosis-related cytokines and chemokines. Moreover, nuclear translocation of p65 was significantly suppressed in osthole-treated liver. Osthole also ameliorated TAA-induced injury through reducing cellular oxidation. Osthole showed inhibitory effects in inflammation-related genes and chemokines production as well. In vitro, we assessed osthole effects in activated HSCs (HSC-T6 and LX-2). Osthole attenuated TGF-β1-induced migration and invasion in HSCs. Furthermore, osthole decreased TNF-α-triggered NF-κB activities significantly. Besides, osthole alleviated TGF-β1- or ET-1-induced HSCs contractility. Our study demonstrated that osthole improved TAA-caused liver injury, fibrogenesis and inflammation in rats. In addition, osthole suppressed HSCs activation in vitro significantly.

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