BACKGROUND: Hepatic fibrosis is characterised by a progressive accumulation of fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including collagen that occurs in chronic liver diseases. Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta)/Smad3 signalling plays a major role in tissue fibrogenesis acting as a potent stimulus of ECM accumulation.
AIM: To evaluate the effects of a combined therapy with anti-inflammatory Boswellia and anti-fibrotic Salvia extracts on the course of chronic hepatitis-associated fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) in mice, as well as on the hepatic expression of TGF-beta1 and Smad proteins.
METHODS: Chronic hepatitis-associated fibrosis was induced in mice by intraperitoneal DMN administration. Mice were assigned to 5 groups: controls; DMN without any treatment; DMN treated orally with Boswellia extracts (50 mg/kg/day); DMN treated orally with Salvia extracts (150 mg/ kg/day); DMN treated orally with both Boswellia (50 mg/kg/day) and Salvia extracts (150 mg/kg/ day). The liver was excised for macroscopic examination and histological, morphometric and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses. For IHC, alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), collagen types I-III, TGF-beta1, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), Smad3, Smad7, CD3, PCNA and TUNEL antibodies were used.
RESULTS: The combined oral administration of Boswellia and Salvia extracts improved the course and macroscopic findings of DMN-induced chronic hepatitis-associated fibrosis. The histological severity of the hepatic fibrosis showed a marked improvement following treatment and was associated with a reduction in the hepatic expression of alpha-SMA, collagen I-III, CTGF, TGF-beta1, Smad3, and Smad7.
CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that co-treatment of Boswellia plus Salvia extracts is effective in preventing hepatic fibrosis in DMN-induced chronic hepatitis. The anti-fibrotic properties are mainly related to Salvia extracts and appear to be mediated by the inhibition of the TGF-beta1/Smad3 pathway.Free PDF Download
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R. Sferra, A. Vetuschi, V. Catitti, S. Ammanniti, S. Pompili, D. Melideo, G. Frieri, E. Gaudio, G. Latella
Boswellia serrata and Salvia miltiorrhiza extracts reduce DMN-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice by TGF-beta1 downregulation
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 16 - N. 11