Schisandra sphenanthera Extract Facilitates Liver Regeneration after Partial Hepatectomy in Mice

Drug Metab Dispos. 2016 May;44(5):647-52. doi: 10.1124/dmd.115.068288. Epub 2016 Mar 1.


Liver regeneration after surgical liver resection is crucial for the restoration of liver mass and the recovery of liver function.Schisandra sphenanthera extract (Wuzhi tablet, WZ) is a preparation of an extract from the dried ripe fruit of Schisandra sphenanthera Rehd. et Wils, a traditional hepatoprotective herb. Previously, we found that WZ could induce liver regeneration-related genes against acetaminophen-induced liver injury. However, whether WZ can directly facilitate liver regeneration after liver resection remains unknown. We investigated whether WZ has potential in promoting liver regeneration after a partial hepatectomy (PHX) in mice. Remnant livers were collected 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days after PHX. Hepatocyte proliferation was assessed using the Ki-67 labeling index. Western blot analysis was performed on proteins known to be involved in liver regeneration. The results demonstrated that WZ significantly increased the liver-to-body weight ratio of mice after PHX but had no effect on that of mice after a sham operation. Additionally, the peak hepatocyte proliferation was observed at 1.5 days in PHX/WZ-treated mice but at 2 days in PHX/saline-treated mice, as evidenced by the Ki-67 positive ratio. Furthermore, WZ significantly increased the protein expression of ligand-induced phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor and up-regulated cyclin D1, cyclin D-dependent kinase 4, phosphorylated retinoblastoma, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen protein expression and down-regulated the expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27 in the regenerative process after PHX. These results demonstrate that WZ significantly facilitates hepatocyte proliferation and liver regeneration after PHX.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Hepatectomy / methods
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Schisandra / chemistry*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Tablets / chemistry
  • Tablets / pharmacology


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tablets
  • wuzhi
  • Acetaminophen