Shikonin protects against D-Galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide-induced acute hepatic injury by inhibiting TLR4 signaling pathway.
Oncotarget. 2017 Oct 31 ;8(53):91542-91550. Epub 2017 Sep 16. PMID: 29207664
Shikonin, a naphthoquinone isolated from the root of medical herb Lithospermum erythrorhizon, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effect. However, there is no related research for the treatment of shikonin on hepaic injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of shikonin on D-Galactosamine and Lipopolysaccharide-induced hepatic injury in mice. Male BALB/c mice were pretreated with shikonin 1 h before LPS/D-GalN treatment. The pathological changes of hepatic injury were detected by H&E staining. The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in hepatic tissues were detected by ELISA. The levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were also measured in this study. In addition, the expression of TLR4 and NF-κB were determined by western blot analysis. These results suggest that shikonin effectively prevents LPS/D-GalN-induced liver injury by inhibiting AST and ALT levels, as well as inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β production. The expression of TLR4 and NF-κB activation induced by LPS/D-GalN were also inhibited by treatment of shikonin. In vitro, shikonin significantly inhibited LPS-induced TNF-α and IL-1β production, as well as TLR4 expression and NF-κB activation. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that shikonin attenuates LPS/D-GalN-induced hepatic injury by inhibiting TLR4 signaling pathway.