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Hepatoprotective properties of flavonoid-enriched lotus seedpod extract


In this study, researchers from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan examined the anti-inflammatory effects of lotus seedpod extract (LSE) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatic inflammation, as well as the underlying mechanisms, in vitro and in vivo. Their results were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • The endotoxin LPS plays an important role in accelerating hepatic inflammation.
  • On the other hand, medicinal plants that can prevent inflammation by targeting LPS have potential therapeutic clinical application.
  • LSE is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to induce hemostasis and eliminate bruises.
  • Using an LPS-stimulated human hepatoma cell line (HepG2), LSE and its purified compound (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) dose-dependently inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators without affecting cell viability. These included tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a, interleukin (IL)-6, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).
  • Molecular studies also revealed that the anti-LPS effect of EGC can be mediated via down-regulation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). TLR4 mediates both NF-kB and p38 signaling, as proven by treatment with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), a specific NF-kB inhibitor.
  • In vivo, the researchers found that LSE significantly ameliorated LPS-induced hepatic inflammation in treated mice.
  • LSE dose-dependently reduced serum levels of biochemical markers of liver damage and inhibited changes in hepatic lobular architecture, the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators and the induction of antioxidant enzymes.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that EGC-enriched LSE is an anti-inflammatory agent that can be used for the treatment of hepatic inflammation.

Journal Reference:

Tseng HC, Tsai PM, Chou YH, Lee YC, Lin HH, Chen JH. IN VITRO AND IN VIVO PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF FLAVONOID-ENRICHED LOTUS SEEDPOD EXTRACT ON LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDE-INDUCED HEPATIC INFLAMMATION. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2019;47(01):153–176. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x19500083



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