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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease with a broad spectrum of liver injury. Oxidant stress is believed to be the pathogenesis of NAFLD as the "second hit". Hydrogen peroxide is widely used as an oxidant reagent to induce the oxidant injury of cells and larval zebrafish. Recently, cichoric acid is being studied extensively for its obesity attenuating, hepatic steatosis reduction and anti-oxidant effects. In this study, to identify whether CRA could protect the H2O2 induced oxidant injury via anti-oxidant impact by using L02 and HepG2 hepatocytes as in vitro and larval zebrafish as in vivo injury models, and evaluated the protective and anti-oxidant effects of CRA by pretreated it on both in vitro and in vivo models. CRA was found to reduce the production of ROS and MDA, activate the anti-oxidant enzymes SOD and GSH-px, and pathways Keap1-Nrf2 and HO-1. These results demonstrated that CRA might protect the liver injury by its anti-oxidant effect, which could be a potential therapeutic agent of NAFLD.

Abstract Ethnopharmacological relevance Tibetan medicine has been practiced for 3800 years. Anzhijinhua San (AZJHS), which is a traditional Tibetan medicine, has been effective in the treatment of indigestion, anorexia and cold diarrhea. However, the effects of AZJHS on allergic diarrhea have not been reported. Aim of the study The aim of the present study was to elucidate the effect of AZJHS on experimental ovalbumin-induced diarrhea and elucidate its possible mechanism. Materials and methods Female BALB/c mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal injection with 50 μg ovalbumin (OVA) and 1 mg alum in saline twice during a 2-week period. From day 28, mice were orally challenged with OVA (50 mg) every other day for a total of ten times. AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) was orally administered every other day from day 0–46. Food allergy symptoms were evaluated. OVA- specific IgE, 5-HT and its metabolites in serum were determined. Immunohistochemical and histopathology were performed in gastrointestinal tract tissues. 5-HT-related gene expression was assayed in the colon. Results Severe symptoms of allergic diarrhea were observed in the model group (diarrhea, anaphylactic response, and rectal temperature). AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) significantly reduced mouse diarrhea and significantly prevented the increases in OVA-specific IgE levels (P < 0.05), which challenge with OVA. AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) significantly prevented the increases in 5-HT-positive cells. The nuclei of EC cells in the AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) group increased in size and the secretory granules were fewer in number compared with those in the model group. AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) significantly increased the relative fold changes of 5-HTP and 5-HT compared with the model group. The mRNA expression of the serotonin transporter (Sert) and serotonin receptor 3A (Htr3a) was significantly decreased after the 10th challenge with OVA, and AZJHS (46.8 and 468.0 mg/kg) significantly increased these levels. Conclusions We demonstrated that the administration of AZJHS attenuated OVA-induced diarrhea by regulating the serotonin pathway. These results indicated that AZJHS may be a potential candidate as an anti-allergic diarrhea agent. Graphical abstract fx1 [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]