Glycyrrhetinic acid-induced permeability transition in rat liver mitochondria

Biochem Pharmacol. 2003 Dec 15;66(12):2375-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2003.08.023.


Glycyrrhetinic acid, a hydrolysis product of one of the main constituents of licorice, the triterpene glycoside of glycyrrhizic acid, when added to rat liver mitochondria at micromolar concentrations induces swelling, loss of membrane potential, pyridine nucleotide oxidation, and release of cytochrome c and apoptosis inducing factor. These changes are Ca(2+) dependent and are prevented by cyclosporin A, bongkrekic acid, and N-ethylmaleimide. All these observations indicate that glycyrrhetinic acid is a potent inducer of mitochondrial permeability transition and can trigger the pro-apoptotic pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Swelling / drug effects
  • Permeability
  • Rats


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid