Protective effects of an ethanol extract of Angelica keiskei against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in HepG2 and HepaRG cells

Nutr Res Pract. 2017 Apr;11(2):97-104. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2017.11.2.97. Epub 2017 Mar 10.


Background/objective: Although Angelica keiskei (AK) has widely been utilized for the purpose of general health improvement among Asian, its functionality and mechanism of action. The aim of this study was to determine the protective effect of ethanol extract of AK (AK-Ex) on acute hepatotoxicity induced by acetaminophen (AAP) in HepG2 human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cells and HepaRG human hepatic progenitor cells.

Materials/methods: AK-Ex was prepared HepG2 and HepaRG cells were cultured with various concentrations and 30 mM AAP. The protective effects of AK-Ex against AAP-induced hepatotoxicity in HepG2 and HepaRG cells were evaluated using 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, flow cytometry, and Western blotting.

Results: AK-Ex, when administered prior to AAP, increased cell growth and decreased leakage of LDH in a dose-dependent manner in HepG2 and HepaRG cells against AAP-induced hepatotoxicity. AK-Ex increased the level of Bcl-2 and decreased the levels of Bax, Bok and Bik decreased the permeability of the mitochondrial membrane in HepG2 cells intoxicated with AAP. AK-Ex decreased the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and the activation of caspase-9, -7, and -3.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that AK-Ex downregulates apoptosis via intrinsic and extrinsic pathways against AAP-induced hepatotoxicity. We suggest that AK could be a useful preventive agent against AAP-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes.

Keywords: Liver; apoptosis; functional food; hepatocyte.