In vitro hepatocyte inflammation by Ephedra sinica extracts

마황 추출물의 in vitro 간세포 염증반응 유도

  • Kim, Ilrang (Department of Food and Nutrition, Ulsan College)
  • 김일낭 (울산과학대학교 식품영양학과)
  • Received : 2018.11.05
  • Accepted : 2018.12.06
  • Published : 2019.02.28


In this study, the in vitro hepatotoxic mechanism of Ephedra sinica (ma-huang) was investigated by measuring the degree of cell death, secretion of cytokine, and fat accumulation by treating HepG2 cells with 70% ethanolic extracts of ma-huang. Cell death was observed at concentrations of around $5-100{\mu}g/mL$ by treatment with ma-huang extracts (p<0.05). The secretion of interleukin 8 (IL-8) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), which are inflammatory cytokines, were significantly promoted at concentrations of around 0.05-100 and $0.5-100{\mu}g/mL$, respectively (p<0.05). In this experiment, it was shown that the extracts of ma-huang stimulate the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-8 and M-CSF, and lead to fat accumulation in the hepatocytes, thereby causing inflammation of the hepatocytes. Hepatotoxicity was observed at around 10-500 times lower concentration than the concentration required to cause serious toxicity, such as cell death, suggesting that hepatic toxicity (hepatitis) may be induced at a low dose.

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Fig. 1. HepG2 cell viability by ma-huang extract.

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Fig. 2. LDH release of HepG2 cells by ma-huang extract.

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Fig. 3. IL-8 secretion of HepG2 cells by ma-huang extract.

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Fig. 4. M-CSF secretion of HepG2 cells by ma-huang extract.

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Fig. 5. Lipid accumulation of HepG2 cells by amiodarone (A) or ma-huang extract (B).

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Fig. 6. Confocal imaging of nile red binding in HepG2 cells after exposure to control (A), amiodarone (B) or ma-huang extract (C).


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