Dandelion leaf extract protects against liver injury induced by methionine- and choline-deficient diet in mice

J Med Food. 2013 Jan;16(1):26-33. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2226. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


We investigated the hepatoprotective effects of the extract of dandelion leaves (EDL) on a murine model of methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). C57BL/6 mice were fed for 4 weeks with one of the following diets: control diet (Cont), MCD diet (MCD), MCD diet supplemented with EDL at 200 mg/kg body weight·daily (MCD+D200), and MCD diet supplemented with EDL at 500 mg/kg body weight·daily (MCD+D500). Hepatic function was assessed by evaluating the following parameters: liver histology; plasma levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), triglyceride (TG), malondialdehyde (MDA), and reduced glutathione (GSH); expression levels of TNF-α and IL-6; and levels of caspase-3 and pJNK/JNK protein. Histopathological evaluations revealed that addition of EDL to the MCD diet dampens the severity of the clinical signs of NASH. Moreover, EDL led to a significant decrease in the serum levels of ALT, hepatic TG, and MDA, and in the expression levels of TNF-α, and IL-6; on the contrary, the levels of reduced GSH increased. At the post-transcriptional level, EDL significantly decreased the activation of procaspase-3 to active caspase-3, and the phosphorylation of JNK. These results suggest that the beneficial effects of EDL on NASH are mainly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choline / adverse effects
  • Choline Deficiency / complications
  • Fatty Liver / chemically induced
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Liver / genetics
  • Fatty Liver / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / injuries
  • Male
  • Methionine / adverse effects
  • Methionine / deficiency*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Taraxacum / chemistry*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Methionine
  • Choline