Wheatgrass-Derived Polysaccharide Has Antiinflammatory, Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Apoptotic Effects on LPS-Induced Hepatic Injury in Mice

Phytother Res. 2017 Jul;31(7):1107-1116. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5835. Epub 2017 May 24.


Hepatic injury occurs frequently during sepsis, and polysaccharides isolated from plants have been reported to have antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects in various models. However, the effect of wheatgrass-derived polysaccharide (WGP) has not been previously studied. In the present study, we investigated the effect of WGP on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatic injury in mice. Mice were pre-treated with WGP (100 or 200 mg/kg daily for 2 days) and then challenged with LPS (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneal), and sacrificed after 12 h. Wheatgrass-derived polysaccharide decreased serum aminotransferase levels and histological changes as compared with LPS-challenged mice. Wheatgrass-derived polysaccharide also significantly inhibited LPS-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine up-regulation and improved the oxidative status of liver tissues. Furthermore, these effects were found to be mediated by the suppression of the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), due to inhibitions of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β)-activated kinase (TAK)-1 phosphorylation and inhibition of kappa B (IκB)-α degradation. In addition, WGP inhibited the activations of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Wheatgrass-derived polysaccharide also attenuated hepatic cell death by modulating caspase-3 and apoptosis associated mitochondrial proteins, such as, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2-associated X (Bax). Taken together, WGP possesses antiinflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic activity and ameliorates LPS-induced liver injury in mice. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: apoptosis; hepatic injury; inflammation; polysaccharide; sepsis; wheatgrass.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / physiopathology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Bax protein, mouse
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Polysaccharides
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Bcl2 protein, mouse
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases
  • MAP kinase kinase kinase 7
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3