Garlic extract attenuating rat liver fibrosis by inhibiting TGF-β1

Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;32(2):252-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


Background & aims: We previously demonstrated the efficacy of garlic extract (GE) in the prevention of rat liver fibrosis by inhibiting tissue transglutaminase (tTG) activity. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the potential of GE in the regression of liver fibrosis and the underlining mechanism.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were i.p. injected, twice a week, for 7 weeks, with CCl(4) to develop liver fibrosis. Successively, a group was immediately sacrificed, while the remaining two groups received the GE or the vehicle, respectively, over the following 2 wks. A group of normal rats was also included in the study. Liver function, histology, and collagen deposition in parallel with gene and protein expression of α-SMA, tTG, TGF-β1, SEMA-7A, and metalloproteinase inhibitor 1 (TIMP1) as well as measure of active by total TGF-β1 were assessed.

Results: CCl(4) administration increased alanine-aminotransferase (ALT) activity, hepatic collagen deposition and gene and protein expression of all monitored markers. GE, but not the sole vehicle, restored liver histology and function by decreasing fibrogenesis markers (α-SMA, tTG, TGF-β1, SEMA-7A and TIMP1). Active by total TGF-β1 was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in GE treated rats compared to the CCl(4) at 7 weeks, and vehicle rats.

Conclusions: These findings concurrently suggested that GE elicited therapeutic effect against liver fibrosis. Regression of liver fibrosis occurred by reducing myofibroblasts (through modulation of HSCs activation mechanisms), remodelling extracellular matrix (through increase of its degradation) and regenerating liver tissue and functions: three processes regulated by fine mechanisms where active TGF-β1 and tTG play a central role.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Alanine Transaminase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Carbon Tetrachloride / administration & dosage
  • Garlic / chemistry*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Semaphorins / metabolism
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Transglutaminases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transglutaminases / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Antigens, CD
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sema7a protein, rat
  • Semaphorins
  • TIMP1 protein, rat
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • smooth muscle actin, rat
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Transglutaminases
  • Alanine Transaminase