Polyphenols from hawthorn peels and fleshes differently mitigate dyslipidemia, inflammation and oxidative stress in association with modulation of liver injury in high fructose diet-fed mice

Chem Biol Interact. 2016 Sep 25;257:132-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2016.08.002. Epub 2016 Aug 13.


Hawthorn ingestion is linked to health benefits due to the various polyphenols. The present study investigated the differential effects of polyphenols-enriched extracts from hawthorn fruit peels (HPP) and fleshes (HFP) against liver injury induced by high-fructose diet in mice. It was found that the main species of polyphenols in hawthorn was chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, rutin and hyperoside, and their contents in HPP were all higher than those in HFP. Administration of HPP was better than HFP to alleviate liver injury and hepatocyte apoptosis, reflected by the reduction of ALT, AST and ALP activities, as well as the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 in mice. Meanwhile, HPP was also more effective than HFP to mitigate liver inflammation and oxidative stress by inhibiting inflammatory cytokine (TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-6) release, and elevating antioxidant enzyme activities and PPARα expression, while reducing Nrf-2 and ARE expression in mice. Interestingly, HPP-treated mice also showed the lower levels of TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C and Apo-B, and the higher levels of HDL-C and Apo-A1 than HFP-treated mice via reducing FAS express. These results together with the histopathology of the liver with H&E and oil red O staining suggest that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is an excellent source of natural polyphenolic chemopreventive agents in the treatment of liver disorders.

Keywords: Fruit peels and fleshes; Hawthorn; High fructose; Liver injury; Polyphenol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crataegus / chemistry*
  • Diet
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Fructose / adverse effects
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*


  • Polyphenols
  • Fructose