Chinese herb Radix Polygoni Multiflori as a therapeutic drug for liver cirrhosis in mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Nov 1;114(2):199-206. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.07.034. Epub 2007 Aug 11.


Liver regeneration not only plays a functional role in directing the restoration of liver mass after resection or injury, but also may have participated in effective therapy of liver cirrhosis. Additionally, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) appears to be a factor of great importance in liver regeneration and attenuated progression of experimental liver cirrhosis. The aim of this study is to use Radix Polygoni Multiflori (POMU) extract, a Chinese herb traditionally used for liver-protective therapy, as a reagent for the evaluation of its potential medicinal use in liver cirrhosis. We used in vitro coculture system to show that POMU could promote the expression of HGF by hepatic nonparenchymal cells, consequently the proliferation of primary liver cells and phagocytic activity of Kupffer cells using fluorescein-labeled Escherichia coli as the target, and inhibit the proliferation of stellate cells. Using dimethylnitrosamine-induced liver cirrhosis animal, POMU even at 20 mg/(kg day) dosage, was illustrated to reverse the pathogenic progression of the disease, decrease the hydroxyproline content and increases the expression of HGF messenger RNA in liver tissue. The survival rate was significantly increased in the POMU-treated animal. In conclusion, our study showed the promise of POMU in the medicinal use for the treatment of liver cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkylating Agents / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Separation
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Dimethylnitrosamine / toxicity
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Kupffer Cells / drug effects
  • Kupffer Cells / metabolism
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Collagen
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases
  • Dimethylnitrosamine
  • Hydroxyproline