Therapeutic Effects of Blue Honeysuckle on Lesions of Hyperthyroidism in Rats.
Am J Chin Med. 2016 ;44(7):1441-1456. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PMID: 27785940
Hyperthyroidism is a hypermetabolic syndrome characterized by an overproduction of thyroid hormones, which enhances the hormone-induced oxidative stress responsible for some complications in the liver, heart and muscle. Blue honeysuckle (BH) is an edible berry, rich in polyphenols, especially flavonoids or anthocyanins, known as strong antioxidants. The chemo-protective activities of the berry have been connected to the improvement of symptoms in cancer, diabetes mellitus, tumor or cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the therapeutic effects of BH were examined in hyperthyroidism rat model. The hyperthyroidism was induced by injection with levothyroxine (LT4), and the model was treated with distilled water (LT4 control), propylthiouracil (PTU) or BH at 3 dosages of 500, 250 and 125[Formula: see text]mg/kg. The treatment was performed once a day for 15 days. Compared to LT4 control, the oral administration of BH dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperthyroidism, reducing thyroid hormones and increasing thyroid stimulating hormones. These effects were accompanied by improvement of body weight loss and atrophy in the thyroid gland, liver and epididymal fat pads. BH treatments also reduced the levels of hepatic enzymes (AST and ALT), which suggests BH exerts protective effects on hepatocytes. BH might also be involved in the augmentation of the anti-oxidant activities, supported by increased endogenous antioxidant (glutathione). In addition, the histopathological analyses revealed the beneficial effects of BH on the atrophic changes and cellular injuries in the thyroid gland, liver and epididymal fat pads. The therapeutic potentials of BH were either similar or more effective than PTU. These results provide valuable information that will guide more detailed studies to use the BH as a complementary and alternative medicine.