Original Articles

Inhibitory effect of picroside II on hepatocyte apoptosis

Authors: Hua Gao, Ya-wei Zhou


Aim: To investigate the influence of picroside II on hepatocyte apoptosis and its mechanism.
Methods: Morphological changes and quantification of apoptotic cells were determined under transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometry respectively. DNA fragmentation was visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was used to analyze the expression of bcl-2 and bax genes. The content of manganese-superoxide dismutase (SOD) in liver mitochondria was detected by the Marland method. The content of malonic aldehyde (MDA) and the protein level in liver tissue were determined by thiobarbituric acid colorimetry and Lowry method.
Results: Picroside II decreased the levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase in the serum resulting from acute-liver injured mice induced with D-GalN and LPS; it also reduced the content of MDA, and thus, enhanced the activity of SOD. Picroside II 10 mg/kg was found to protect hepatocytes against apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner; it up-regulated the expression of bcl-2 genes, thus increased the bcl-2/bax ratio.
Conclusion: Picroside II can protect hepatocytes against injury and prevent hepatocytes from apoptosis. It might by upregulating the bcl-2 gene expression and antioxidation.

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