The Protective Effects of Pueraria Radix against Chronic Alcohol-induced Muscle Atrophy in Rats

알콜로 유도된 흰쥐의 근위축에서 갈근(葛根)의 보호 작용과 그 기전에 대한 고찰

  • Kim, Bum Hoi (Department of Anatomy, College of Korean Medicine and Research Institute of Oriental Medicine, Dong-eui University)
  • 김범회 (동의대학교 한의과대학 해부학교실, 한의학연구소)
  • Received : 2017.03.21
  • Accepted : 2017.04.07
  • Published : 2017.04.30


Objectives Ethanol is a potent inhibitor of muscle protein synthesis. Muscle mass is regulated by the balance between rates of protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Both acute and chronic alcohol consumption inhibits synthesis to a greater extent than degradation. Protein synthesis is more intensely decreased in type II fibers than in type I fibers. Apoptosis has been shown to occur frequently in a variety of tissues in response to chronic alcohol feeding. Increased muscle fiber apoptosis has been shown in alcoholics with myopathy. Pueraria radix has been used for many disorders such as fevers, gastrointestinal disorders, muscle aches, allergies, respiratory problems, skin problems, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, lowering cholesterol and treating chronic alcoholism. We therefore tested the hypothesis that oral treatment with Pueraria radix could reduce the ethanol-induced muscle atrophy. Methods Young male Sprague-Dawley rats were orally given 25% ethanol (5 ml/kg, body weight) daily with Ethanol for 4 weeks. Normal group was similarly administrated with saline. The Rats of Pueraria radix treated group (EtOH+PR) were orally administrated Pueraria radix water extract, and rats of EtOH group were given with the vehicle only. After 4 week, the morphology of gastrocnemius and plantaris muscles were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. The immunoreactivities of pre-apoptotic BAX and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins were also measured. Results The muscles from rats of EtOH group represented a significant reduction in average cross section area compared to Normal group. EtOH+PR group had increased fiber compared to the EtOH group. Moreover, to investigate the ethanol-induced muscular apoptosis, the immunohistochemical analysis of Bax and Bcl-2 was carried out. The treatment with Pueraria radix (EtOH+PR) significantly decreased BAX expression and increased Bcl-2 expression 4 weeks after ethanol administration when compared with Normal group. Conclusions These results suggest that Pueraria radix water extract has protective effects on chronic alcohol induced myopathy.


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