Effects of Astragalus (ASI, SK) on Experimental Liver Injury


Zhang YD




Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao


The saponins (ASI, SK) used in this study was extracted from the root of Astragalus membranaceous Bge and Astragalus sieversianus Pull. ASI and SK were found to protect liver from chemical injury induced by CCl4, D-galactosamine and acetaminophen in mice. The two saponins were shown to impede the elevation of SGPT level, decrease the MDA content and increase the GSH concentration in mouse liver. Obvious improvement of histological changes were also observed. The protective action of ASI and SK against the hepatotoxicity was also shown in experiments using primary cultured rat hepatocytes. The average value of GPT in the medium treated with different concentration of ASI and SK (0.00075-0.18 mmol/L) was lower than that in control. Analyzing through multiple linear correlation, we showed that the lowering of SGPT was negatively related to the increase of GSH, positively related to the decrease of MDA in mice given CCl4 or acetaminophen in combination with ASI or SK. These results indicate that the hepato-protective effects of ASI and SK may be due to their anti-oxidation activities, since the content of liver protein in mice given ASI or SK was more than that in the controls. Moreover, the level of hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 in all mice given the two saponins were significantly increased, the liver metabolism and immunoregulating action produced by ASI and SK may be also involved in their hepato-protective effects.