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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (11): 1145-1151.doi: 10.3736/jcim20081108

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Qinggan Huoxue Recipe and its separated recipes on the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α in rats with alcoholic liver injury

Tao Wu1,2, Tao Liu1, Pei-yong Zhang1, Lian-jun Xing1, Guang Ji1()   

  1. 1. Institute of Gastroenterology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    2. Research Center of Chinese Medicine Recipe-Syndrome and Systems Biology, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2008-07-08 Online:2008-11-20 Published:2008-11-15


To study the effects of Qinggan Huoxue Recipe (QGHXR), the compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and its separated recipes on the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA and serum TNF-α content in rats with alcoholic liver injury (ALI).


One hundred male Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal control group (n=10), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) group (n=10) and ALI group (n=80). Rats in the ALI group were intragastrically administered mixed liquor twice a day and intraperitoneally injected with CCl4 twice a week for 6 weeks, rats in the normal control group were intragastrically administered normal saline, and rats in the CCl4 group were intraperitoneally injected with CCl4 and olive oil twice a week continuously. Two rats in the ALI group were sacrificed for histological observation per week. After 4-week modeling, the rats in the ALI group were randomly divided into QGHXR group, Qinggan Recipe (QGR) group, Huoxue Recipe (HXR) group (15 rats in each group), and the others belonged to the untreated group. After 2-week suitable drugs treatment, the activities of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were analyzed. Pathological changes in liver tissues were observed by HE staining. The content of plasma TNF-α was assayed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, and expression of TNF-α mRNA in the liver tissue was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).


QGHXR and its separated recipes improved liver steatosis and inflammation, and in this regard, the QGHXR was superior to the QGR. QGHXR decreased the activity of serum ALT in rats with ALI, but QGR and HXR did not show significant effect in that. The three recipes decreased the activity of AST as compared with the untreated group, but there were no significant differences among the three treated groups. HXR and QGHXR down-regulated the expression of TNF-α mRNA in the liver tissue, but QGR did not show significant effect. HXR and QGHXR also decreased the content of plasma TNF-α, but QGR did not show significant effect in that.


QGHXR and HXR may provide protection against ALI in rats through decreasing the production of TNF-α.

Key words: Qinggan Huoxue Recipe, Qinggan Recipe, Huoxue Recipe, alcoholic liver disease, tumor necrosis factor-α, rats

CLC Number: 

  • R774.13

Table 1

Effects of QGHXR and its separated recipes on the degree of steatosis and inflammation of livers in rats with ALI (x±s)"

Group n Total score
Normal control 10 0**
CCl4 10 0.10±0.32**
Untreated 9 4.56±0.73
QGR 13 2.15±1.28**
HXR 8 1.38±1.06**
QGHXR 9 0.67±0.50**

Figure 1

Histopathological changes of liver tissue in rats in different groups by HE staining (Light microscopy, ×200) A: Normal control group; B: Untreated group; C: CCl4 group; D: QGR group; E: HXR group; F: QGHXR group."

Table 2

Effects of QGHXR and its separated recipes on serum ALT and AST activities in rats with ALI(x±s, U/L)"

Group n ALT AST
Normal control 10 36.96±5.31** 105.05±33.04*
CCl4 10 43.67±9.02** 150.72±55.98
Untreated 9 53.07±10.65 192.62±38.43
QGR 13 47.03±6.06 143.00±53.28*
HXR 8 47.45±3.44 129.51±55.36**
QGHXR 9 43.53±6.66** 120.09±31.15**

Figure 2

Effects of QGHXR and its separated recipes on the expression of TNF-α mRNA in rats with ALI (1) RT-PCR spectrum; (2) Ratio of TNF-α mRNA/β-actin mRNA. A: Normal control group; B: CCl4 group; C: Untreated group; D: QGR group; E: HXR group; F: QGHXR group. *P<0.05, **P<0.01, vs untreated group; △P>0.05, vs normal control group. n=3."

Table 3

Effects of QGHXR and its separated recipes on the content of plasma TNF-α in rats with ALI(x±s, ng/L)"

Group n TNF-α
Normal control 10 24.06±2.80**
CCl4 10 25.86±2.11**
Untreated 9 31.98±4.61
QGR 13 28.58±4.99
HXR 8 25.86±5.05**
QGHXR 9 24.99±4.65**
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