In vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Astragalus polysaccharides against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatocyte damage in common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Fish Physiol Biochem. 2012 Jun;38(3):871-81. doi: 10.1007/s10695-011-9575-z. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


The present study is aiming at evaluating the hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) on the carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced hepatocyte and liver injury in common carp in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, APS (200, 400 and 800 μg/ml) was added to the carp primary hepatocytes before (pre-treatment), after (post-treatment) and both before and after (pre- and post-treatment) the incubation of the hepatocytes with CCl(4) at 8 mM in the culture medium. APS at concentrations of 200, 400 and 800 μg/ml significantly improved cell viability and inhibited the elevation of glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), glutamate oxalate transaminase (GOT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) and significantly increased the reduced level of superoxide dismutase (SOD). In vivo administration of APS at the doses of 1.5 and 3 g/kg in the diet for 60 days prior to CCl(4) intoxication significantly reduced the elevated activities of GPT, GOT and LDH and increased the reduced levels of total protein and albumin in the serum; meanwhile, the reduced levels of SOD, glutathione and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) were markedly increased and the MDA formation was significantly inhibited in liver tissue. Overall results proved the hepatoprotective action of APS, which is likely related to its antioxidant activity. The results support the use of APS as a hepatoprotective and antioxidant agent in fish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Astragalus propinquus
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / metabolism
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / pathology
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / prevention & control
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / veterinary*
  • Carps / blood
  • Carps / injuries*
  • Carps / metabolism*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / veterinary*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Fish Diseases / chemically induced
  • Fish Diseases / metabolism
  • Fish Diseases / pathology
  • Fish Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Polysaccharides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase