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

  • 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.


Pueraria radix;Alcoholic myopathy;Gastrocnemius;Plantaris;BAX;Bcl-2


  1. Romero JC, Santolaria F, Gonzalez-Reimers E, Diaz-Flores L, Conde A, Rodriguez-Moreno F, Batista N. Chronic alcoholic myopathy and nutritional status. Alcohol. 1994;11(6):549-55.
  2. Preedy VR, Adachi J, Ueno Y, Ahmed S, Mantle D, Mullatti N, Rajendram R, Peters TJ. Alcoholic skeletal muscle myopathy: definitions, features, contribution of neuropathy, impact and diagnosis. Eur J Neurol. 2001;8(6):677-87.
  3. Preedy VR, Paice A, Mantle D, Dhillon AS, Palmer TN, Peters TJ. Alcoholic myopathy: biochemical mechanisms. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001;63(3):199-205.
  4. Martin F, Ward K, Slavin G, Levi J, Peters TJ. Alcoholic skeletal myopathy, a clinical and pathological study. Q J Med. 1985;55(218):233-51.
  5. Hoek JB, Pastorino JG. Ethanol, oxidative stress, and cytokine-induced liver cell injury. Alcohol. 2002;27(1):63-8.
  6. Urbano-Marquez A, Fernandez-Sola J. Effects of alcohol on skeletal and cardiac muscle. Muscle Nerve. 2004;30(6):689-707.
  7. Hajnoczky G, Csordas G, Das S, Garcia-Perez C, Saotome M, Sinha Roy S, Yi M. Mitochondrial calcium signalling and cell death: approaches for assessing the role of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in apoptosis. Cell Calcium. 2006;40(5-6):553-60.
  8. Kroemer G. The proto-oncogene Bcl-2 and its role in regulating apoptosis. Nat Med. 1997;3(6):614-20.
  9. Lee SI. Herbology. Seoul: Eui Hak Sa; 1997:65-6.
  10. Kim HC. Herbal pharmacology. Seoul: Jip Moon Dang; 2001:92-4.
  11. Wang S, Shi XL, Feng M, Wang X, Zhang ZH, Zhao X, Han B, Ma HC, Dai B, Ding YT. Puerarin protects against CCl4-induced liver fibrosis in mice: possible role of PARP-1 inhibition. Int Immunopharmacol. 2016;38:238-45.
  12. Li R, Liang T, He Q, Guo C, Xu L, Zhang K, Duan X. Puerarin, isolated from Kudzu root (Willd.), attenuates hepatocellular cytotoxicity and regulates the GSK-$3{\beta}$/NF-${\kappa}B$ pathway for exerting the hepatoprotection against chronic alcohol-induced liver injury in rats. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013;17(1):71-8.
  13. Chen X, Li R, Liang T, Zhang K, Gao Y, Xu L. Puerarin improves metabolic function leading to hepatoprotective effects in chronic alcohol-induced liver injury in rats. Phytomedicine. 2013;20(10):849-52.
  14. Kim HB, Kang KH, Hwang WD, Lyu SA, Lee SY. The Effects of Puerariae Radix on Allergic Inflammation. J Korean Oriental Pediatrics, 2009;23(3):217-31.
  15. Jang SW, Kim YS. Effect of Puerariae Radix on Hind Limb Muscle Atrophy of Sciatic Nerve Transectioned Rats. Korean J. Oriental Physiology & Pathology. 2009;23(2):405-11.
  16. Hong JE, Shin JY, Ju SM, Jeon BH, Lee SH. Effects of Puerariae Radix extract on Cisplatin-Induced Apoptosis of Rat Mesangial Cells. Korean J. Oriental Physiology & Patholog,y 2010;24(2):220-7.
  17. Gao Y, Wang X, He C. An isoflavonoid-enriched extract from Pueraria lobata (kudzu) root protects human umbilical vein endothelial cells against oxidative stress induced apoptosis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;193:524-30.
  18. Jung HW, Kang AN, Kang SY, Park YK, Song MY. The Root Extract of Pueraria lobata and Its Main Compound, Puerarin, Prevent Obesity by Increasing the Energy Metabolism in Skeletal Muscle. Nutrients. 2017;9(1):1-13.
  19. Fujii H, Ohmachi T, Sagami I, Watanabe M. Liver microsomal drug metabolism in ethanol-treated hamsters. Biochem Pharmacol. 1985;34(21):3881-4.
  20. Otis JS, Brown LA, Guidot DM. Oxidant-induced atrogin-1 and transforming growth factor-beta1 precede alcohol-related myopathy in rats. Muscle Nerve. 2007;36(6): 842-8.
  21. Lee SI. Herbal Formula Science. Seoul: Young Lim Sa; 1990:97.
  22. Lieber CS, DeCarli LM, Sorrell MF. Experimental methods of ethanol administration. Hepatology. 1989;10(4):501-10.
  23. Mezey E. Alcoholic liver disease: roles of alcohol and malnutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980;33(12):2709-18.
  24. Woods SE, Hitchcock M, Meyer A. Alcoholic hepatitis. Am Fam Physician. 1993;47(5):1171-8.
  25. Herlong HF. Approach to the patient with abnormal liver enzymes. Hosp Pract (Off Ed). 1994;29(11):32-8.
  26. Otis JS, Guidot DM. Procysteine stimulates expression of key anabolic factors and reduces plantaris atrophy in alcohol-fed rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009;33(8):1450-9.
  27. Korzick DH, Sharda DR, Pruznak AM, Lang CH. Aging accentuates alcohol-induced decrease in protein synthesis in gastrocnemius. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013;304(10):887-98.
  28. Narula J, Haider N, Virmani R, DiSalvo TG, Kolodgie FD, Hajjar RJ, Schmidt U, Semigran MJ, Dec GW, Khaw BA. Apoptosis in myocytes in end-stage heart failure. N Engl J Med. 1996;335(16):1182-9.
  29. Shin MK, Hong MC, Ryu DG. Kwon KB, Kim KJ, Kwon YK et al. Oriental Medical Physiology. Seoul:Jip Moon dang 2008:217.

Cited by

  1. A Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies on Muscular Atrophy: A Literature Review of In Vivo/In Vitro Studies vol.2018, pp.1741-4288, 2018,