Supplementation with crude rhubarb extract lessens liver inflammation and hepatic lipid accumulation in a model of acute alcohol-induced steato-hepatitis
© Neyrinck et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 6 June 2014
Binge consumption of alcohol is an alarming global health problem and is implicated in the pathophysiology of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) . In its early stages, ALD it is characterized by fatty liver . Moreover, numerous studies are supporting the concept that beyond this hepatic steatosis physiological processes, inflammation occurred in the progression of the disease . Strategies directed to reduce fat accumulation and local hepatic inflammation caused by alcohol consumption might succeed blocking the evolution of ALD. In this sense, natural plants rich in bioactive constituents are attracting a growing interest as new therapeutic agents. Several studies have reported health benefits coming from rhubarb extract rich in anthraquinones [3, 4]. The aim of the present study was to test the potential hepatoprotective effects of rhubarb extract supplementation in a model of acute alcohol-induced steato-hepatitis.
Materials and methods
Male C57Bl6J mice were fed with a control diet supplemented or not with 0.3% rhubarb extract (Laboratoires Ortis, Belgium). After 17 days, mice received a huge dose of ethanol (6g/kg bw) and were sacrificed 6 hours after the alcohol challenge. Liver oil red O staining and hepatic lipid contents were determined to assess hepatic steatosis whereas the expression of pro-inflammatory markers were analysed in the liver tissue by quantitative PCR to assess hepatic inflammation.
Hepatic lipid contents
Ethanol+ Rhubarb Extract
233.60 ± 18.64a
454.40 ± 55.65b
345.60 ± 32.24a,b
90.38 ± 8.62
161.50 ± 33.06
108.50 ± 14.45
These results suggest that rhubarb extract rich in anthraquinones might decrease liver tissue injury, namely hepatic lipid accumulation and inflammatory disorders caused by acute alcohol consumption.
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