Upregulation of SIRT1-AMPK by thymoquinone in hepatic stellate cells ameliorates liver injury.
Toxicol Lett. 2016 Nov 16 ;262:80-91. Epub 2016 Sep 26. PMID: 27688165
Thymoquinone (TQ) is a biologically active compound isolated from the seeds of Nigella sativa L. (Ranuculaceae). This study investigated the hepato-protective effect of TQ on liver injury through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). In vitro, TGF-β time-dependently attenuated liver kinase B-1 (LKB1) and AMPK phosphorylation, which were blocked by pretreatment with TQ and AICAR (an activator of AMPK). TQ significantly inhibited collagen-Ι, α-SMA, TIMP-1 and enhanced MMP-13 expression, contributing to prevent TGF-β-induced human HSCs activation. Moreover, TQ induced peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) expression, which was inhibited by genetic deletion of AMPK. In vivo, C57BL/6 mice were fed with ethanol diet for 10 days, then administering a single dose of ethanol (5g/kg body weight) via gavage. TQ (20 or 40mg/kg) were given by gavage every day. TQ attenuated the increases in serum aminotransferase and hepatic triglyceride in mice fed with ethanol, while significantly activated LKB1 and AMPK phosphorylation. In addition, TQ enhanced the sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression. In conclusion, we demonstrate that AMPK pathway is a key therapeutic target for controlling liver injury and TQ confers hepato-protection against TGF-β-induced the activation of HSCs and ethanol-induced liver injury.