Vitamin C protective role for alcoholic liver disease in mice through regulating iron metabolism

Toxicol Ind Health. 2011 May;27(4):341-8. doi: 10.1177/0748233710387007. Epub 2010 Nov 15.


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major medical complication of drinking alcohol, and commonly accompanied with hepatic iron overload and liver injuries. Oxidative stress plays an important role in pathogenesis of ALD and also leads to iron-metabolic disorders. In this study, the effects of vitamin C (Vc) on iron metabolism-related genes expression and liver protection from drinking in mice were investigated. Twenty-four male kunming mice were divided into four groups (six mice per group): control (water drinking); alcohol group (20% alcohol drinking), alcohol + low Vc group (adding 50 mg/kg Vc daily) and alcohol + high Vc group (adding 100 mg/kg Vc daily). All these mice were sacrificed after 7 days. Vc can ameliorate the increase of sera alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and hepatic iron overload of drinking alcohol in mice. Vc increases the expression of the iron-regulated hormone hepcidin and decreases transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) expression in liver. Vc also down-regulates the expression of ferroportin 1 (Fpn1) in the intestine and decreases the iron release to blood. In conclusion, Vc ameliorated the alcoholic liver injuries through regulating the iron metabolism-related genes expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron Overload / drug therapy*
  • Iron Overload / genetics
  • Iron Overload / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / drug therapy*
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / genetics
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Transferrin / genetics
  • Receptors, Transferrin / metabolism


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Hamp protein, mouse
  • Hepcidins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Tfrc protein, mouse
  • Ethanol
  • Iron
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Ascorbic Acid