Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2009, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (6): 546-551.doi: 10.3736/jcim20090610

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Qushi Huayu Decoction in prevention and treatment of fatty liver in rats based on adiponection-free fatty acid pathway

Hong-shan Lia,b,Qin Fenga,Li-li Xua,Shao-dong Chena,Xue-mei Lia,Yi-yang Hua   

  1. a Institute of Liver Diseases of Shuguang Hospital, Key Laboratory for Liver-Kidney Disease Pattern of Ministry of Education, E-institute of Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    b Department of Hepatitis, Ningbo Infectious Disease Hospital, Ningbo 315000, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Received:2008-12-23 Accepted:2009-02-25 Online:2009-06-20 Published:2009-06-15


To explore the effects of Qushi Huayu Decoction (QSHYD), a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, in prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rats.

Forty Wistar male rats were used to establish the NAFLD model by subcutaneous injection of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 4 weeks (twice weekly) along with high-fat and low-protein diet for 2 weeks. After two-week administration, the rats were randomly divided into four groups: untreated group, high-dose QSHYD group, medium-dose QSHYD group and low-dose QSHYD group. Another six rats were used as normal control. After 2-week treatment, the following indexes were detected: (1) liver pathology; (2) contents of serum adiponectin (ADP) and liver triglyceride (TG); (3) concentrations of liver FFA, adiponectin receptor 2 (AdipoR2), malonyl-coenzyme A (malony1-CoA), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase), fatty acid synthase (FAS) and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (CPT-1).

Compared with the normal group, there were physiological changes associated with hepatic steatosis and inflammation in liver tissues in the untreated group as observed by oil red O staining and HE staining. The TG, FFA, malony1-CoA, FAS, and ACCase concentrations in liver tissues in the untreated group were elevated significantly. While the contents of ADP in serum and AdipoR2, CPT-1 and AMPK in liver tissues in the untreated group were decreased markedly. The pathological damages in each QSHYD-treated group were significantly less than those in the untreated group. The TG and FFA contents in liver tissues in each QSHYD-treated group were significantly decreased. The FAS, ACCase and malonyl-CoA concentrations in liver tissues of the high QSHYD-treated group were reduced markedly as compared with the untreated group. High- and medium-dose of QSHYD could significantly increase ADP content in serum and AMPK, CPT-1 and AdipoR2 contents in liver tissues.

QSHYD can affect the ADP-FFA pathway by increasing the content of serum ADP, which may be one of its important mechanisms in preventing and treating NAFLD in rats.

Key words: Fatty liver, Free fatty acid, Adiponectin, AMP-activated protein kinase, Qushi Huayu Decoction, Rats

Table 1

Contents of TG and FFA in liver tissues of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n TG (mg/g) FFA (μmol/g)
Normal 6 8.7±2.6** 56.7±5.6**
Untreated 10 33.2±9.7 202.7±54.2
Low-dose QSHYD 8 22.7±5.8** 117.5±17.9**
Medium-dose QSHYD 9 19.9±3.7** 115.8±24.6**
High-dose QSHYD 10 19.6±4.0** 100.8±22.4**

Figure 1

Pathological changes in liver tissues of rats in different groups observed by light microscopy with HE staining (×200) A: Normal group; B: Untreated group; C: High-dose QSHYD group; D: Medium-dose QSHYD group; E: Low-dose QSHYD group."

Table 2

Fatty degeneration in liver tissues of rats in different groups observed by HE staining (Cases)"

Group n Number of rats with different degrees of hepatic steatosis
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4
Normal 6 6 0 0 0 0
Untreated 10 0 0 2 7 1
Low-dose group QSHYD 8 0 2 4 2 0
Medium-dose QSHYD 9 0 2 6 1 0
High-dose group QSHYD 10 0 3 5 2 0
Ridit score 0.069 8 0.220 9 0.441 9 0.779 1 0.988 4

Figure 2

Pathological changes in liver tissues of rats in different groups observed by light microscopy with oil red O staining (×400) A: Normal group; B: Untreated group; C: High-dose QSHYD group; D: Medium-dose QSHYD group; E: Low-dose QSHYD group."

Table 3

Contents of ADP in serum and AdipoR2 in liver tissues of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n ADP (μg/mL) AdipoR2 (ng/g)
Normal 6 25.7±3.8** 4 474±246**
Untreated 10 14.3±3.8 3 205±665
Low-dose QSHYD 8 17.7±5.1△△ 3 960±380**
Medium-dose QSHYD 9 20.1±5.4* 3 940±341**
High-dose QSHYD 10 23.9±4.5** 4 052±353**

Table 4

Contents of AMPK, ACCase and malonyl-CoA in liver tissues of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n AMPK (ng/g) ACCase (μg/g) Malony1-CoA (μg/g)
Normal 6 418±26** 19±8** 270±30**
Untreated 10 219±78 79±31 511±88
Low-dose QSHYD 8 311±72* 64±29 421±97**
Medium-dose QSHYD 9 379±95** 60±18 409±43**
High-dose QSHYD 10 394±83** 39±19** 347±52**

Table 5

Contents of FAS and CPT-1 in liver tissues of rats in different groups (x±s, μg/g)"

Group n FAS CPT-1
Normal 6 83±9** 2 119±199**
Untreated 10 152±29 1 480±275
Low-dose QSHYD 8 130±15 1 642±187
Medium-dose QSHYD 9 125±22* 1 679±173*
High-dose QSHYD 10 107±10** 1 716±171*
[1] Zhang H, Feng Q, Hu YY, Liu CH, Liu P . Prevention and treatment of "Qushi Huayu Decoction" on fatty liver of rats induced by carbon tetrachloride along with high-fat and low-protein diet[J]. Shanghai Zhong Yi Yao Za Zhi, 2006,40(3):52-55
张慧, 冯琴, 胡义扬, 刘成海, 刘平 . 祛湿化瘀方对CCl4复合高脂低蛋白饮食诱导的大鼠脂肪肝的防治作用[J]. 上海中医药杂志, 2006,40(3):52-55
[2] Feng Q, Zhang H, Hu YY, Lu X, Liu CH, Liu P . Effect of Qushi Huayu decoction on prevention and treatment of fatty liver induced by high-fat diet in rats[J]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Gan Bing Za Zhi, 2006,16(1):26-29
冯琴, 张慧, 胡义扬, 陆雄, 刘成海, 刘平 . 祛湿化瘀方对单纯高脂饮食诱导的大鼠脂肪肝的防治作用[J]. 中西医结合肝病杂志, 2006,16(1):26-29
[3] Zhang H, Feng Q, Li HS, Chen SD, Wang XN, Peng JH, Zhang N, Hu YY . Effects of Qushi Huayu Decoction on cathepsin B and tumor necrosis factor-α expression in rats with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis[J]. J Chin Integr Med, 2008,6(9):928-933
张慧, 冯琴, 李红山, 陈少东, 王晓柠, 彭景华, 张宁, 胡义扬 . 祛湿化瘀方对脂肪性肝炎大鼠组织蛋白酶B和肿瘤坏死因子α表达的影响[J]. 中西医结合学报, 2008,6(9):928-933
[4] Zhang H, Hu YY, Feng Q, Chen SD, Xu LL, Cheng Y, Zhang N . Inhibitory effects of Qushi Huayu Decoration on fatty deposition and tumor necrosis factor α secretion in HepG2 cells induced by free fatty acid[J]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi, 2007,27(12):1105-1109
张慧, 胡义扬, 冯琴, 陈少东, 许丽莉, 成扬, 张宁 . 祛湿化瘀方对游离脂肪酸诱导的HepG2细胞脂肪沉积和TNF-α分泌的抑制作用[J]. 中国中西医结合杂志, 2007,27(12):1105-1109
[5] Fatty Liver and Alcoholic Liver Disease Study Group of Chinese Liver Disease Association. Guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases[J]. Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi, 2006,14(3):161-163
中华医学会肝脏病学分会脂肪肝和酒精性肝病学组. 非酒精性脂肪性肝病诊疗指南[J]. 中华肝脏病杂志, 2006,14(3):161-163
[6] Zeng MD . Glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity and the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease[J]. Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi, 2005,13(2):81-82
曾民德 . 葡萄糖毒性、脂肪毒性与非酒精性脂肪性肝病[J]. 中华肝脏病杂志, 2005,13(2):81-82
[7] Xu ZJ, Fan JG, Wang GL . The role of free fatty acid in steatohepatitis[J]. Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi, 2000,8(2):127-128
徐正婕, 范建高, 王国良 . 游离脂肪酸在脂肪性肝炎发病中的作用[J]. 中华肝脏病杂志, 2000,8(2):127-128
[8] Ahima RS . Adipose tissue as an endocrine organ[J]. Obesity (Silver Spring), 2006,14(5):242-249
doi: 10.1038/oby.2006.317
[9] Andreelli F, Foretz M, Knauf C, Cani PD, Perrin C, Iglesias MA, Pillot B, Bado A, Tronche F, Mithieux G, Vaulont S, Burcelin R, Viollet B . Liver adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase-alpha2 catalytic subunit is a key target for the control of hepatic glucose production by adiponectin and leptin but not insulin[J]. Endocrinology, 2006,147(5):2432-2441
doi: 10.1210/en.2005-0898
[10] Fruebis J, Tsao TS, Javorschi S, Ebbets-Reed D, Erickson MR, Yen FT, Bihain BE, Lodish HF . Proteolytic cleavage product of 30-kDa adipocyte complement-related protein increases fatty acid oxidation in muscle and causes weight loss in mice[J]. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2001,98(4):2005-2010
doi: 10.1073/pnas.98.4.2005
[11] You M, Matsumoto M, Pacold CM, Cho WK, Crabb DW . The role of AMP-activated protein kinase in the action of ethanol in the liver[J]. Gastroenterology, 2004,127(6):1798-1808
doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2004.09.049
[12] You M, Considine RV, Leone TC, Kelly DP, Crabb DW . Role of adiponectin in the protective action of dietary saturated fat against alcoholic fatty liver in mice[J]. Hepatology, 2005,42(3):568-577
doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1527-3350
[1] Talat Albukhari, Bassem Refaat, El-Sayed Bakr, Sameh Baz, Bodour Rajab, Hossam Gadalla, Mohamed El-Boshy. Salvadora persica extract attenuates cyclophosphamide-induced hepatorenal damage by modulating oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(4): 348-354.
[2] Meng-ya Shan, Ying Dai, Xiao-dan Ren, Jing Zheng, Ke-bin Zhang, Bin Chen, Jun Yan, Zi-hui Xu. Berberine mitigates nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis by downregulating SIRT1-FoxO1-SREBP2 pathway for cholesterol synthesis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(6): 545-554.
[3] Mao-xing Pan, Chui-yang Zheng, Yuan-jun Deng, Kai-rui Tang, Huan Nie, Ji-qian Xie, Dong-dong Liu, Gui-fang Tu, Qin-he Yang, Yu-pei Zhang. Hepatic protective effects of Shenling Baizhu powder, a herbal compound, against inflammatory damage via TLR4/NLRP3 signalling pathway in rats with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(5): 428-438.
[4] Bing-rong Li, Shi-yun Shao, Long Yuan, Ru Jia, Jian Sun, Qing Ji, Hua Sui, Li-hong Zhou, Yi Zhang, Hui Liu, Qi Li, Yan Wang, Bi-meng Zhang. Effects of mild moxibustion on intestinal microbiome and NLRP3 inflammasome in rats with 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(2): 144-157.
[5] Sitthichai Iamsaard, Supatcharee Arun, Jaturon Burawat, Supataechasit Yannasithinon, Saranya Tongpan, Sudtida Bunsueb, Natthapol Lapyuneyong, Pannawat Choowong-in, Nareelak Tangsrisakda, Chadaporn Chaimontri, Wannisa Sukhorum. Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and reproductive toxicity of aqueous extract of Thai Mucuna pruriens seeds. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(3): 265-273.
[6] Morufu Eyitayo Balogun, Elizabeth Enohnyaket Besong, Jacinta Nkechi Obimma, Ogochukwu Sophia Mbamalu, Fankou Serges Athanase Djobissie. Protective roles of Vigna subterranea (Bambara nut) in rats with aspirin-induced gastric mucosal injury. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(5): 342-349.
[7] Lucky Legbosi Nwidu, Raphael Ellis Teme. Hot aqueous leaf extract of Lasianthera africana (Icacinaceae) attenuates rifampicin-isoniazid-induced hepatotoxicity. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(4): 263-272.
[8] Kylie Connolly, Douglas Jackson, Candice Pullen, Andrew Fenning. Alpha-adrenoceptor antagonism by Crassostrea gigas oyster extract inhibits noradrenaline-induced vascular contraction in Wistar rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(3): 194-200.
[9] Udhaya Lavinya Baskaran, Sherry Joseph Martin, Rasool Mahaboobkhan, Sabina Evan Prince. Protective role of Triphala, an Indian traditional herbal formulation, against the nephrotoxic effects of bromobenzene in Wistar albino rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(2): 115-121.
[10] Hussein O. B. Oloyede, Matthew C. Adaja, Taofeek O. Ajiboye, Musa O. Salawu. Anti-ulcerogenic activity of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seed on indomethacin-induced peptic ulcer in male albino rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(2): 105-114.
[11] Anirudha A. Lande, Shirishkumar D. Ambavade, Uma S. Swami, Prafulla P. Adkara Prashant D. Ambavade, Arun B. Waghamare. Saponins isolated from roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum reduce acute and chronic inflammation and histone deacetylase. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(1): 25-33.
[12] Elizabeth Abidemi Balogun, Sylvia Orume Malomo, Joseph Oluwatope Adebayo, Ahmed Adebayo Ishola, Ayodele Olufemi Soladoye, Lawrence Aderemi Olatunji, Olatunji Matthew Kolawole, Stephen Olubunmi Oguntoye, Abiola Samuel Babatunde, Oluwole Busayo Akinola . In vivo antimalarial activity and toxicological effects of methanolic extract of Cocos nucifera (Dwarf red variety) husk fibre. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(6): 504-511.
[13] Urmila Aswar, Mayuri Gurav, Ganesh More, Khaled Rashed, Manoj Aswar. Effect of aqueous extract of Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. & Wendl. on postmenopausal syndrome in ovariectomized rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 439-446.
[14] Xin-fang Zhang, Ji Zhu, Wen-ye Geng, Shu-jun Zhao, Chuan-wei Jiang, Sheng-rong Cai, Miao Cheng, Chuan-yun Zhou, Zi-bing Liu. Electroacupuncture at Feishu (BL13) and Zusanli (ST36) down-regulates the expression of orexins and their receptors in rats with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 417-424.
[15] Benjamin Perry, Junzeng Zhang, Tarek Saleh, Yanwen Wang. Liuwei Dihuang, a traditional Chinese herbal formula, suppresses chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in obese rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 447-454.
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[5] . Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication (Chinese version, part two). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1001-1005
[6] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[7] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[8] Zhao-guo Li . A discussion of English translation of 1995 and 1997 Chinese National Standards of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminologies for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1090-1096
[9] Rui Jin, Bing Zhang. A complexity analysis of Chinese herbal property theory: the multiple formations of herbal property (Part 1). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1198-1205
[10] Hui-min Liu, Xian-bo Wang, Yu-juan Chang, Li-li Gu. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of integrative medicine therapy for treatment of chronic severe hepatitis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1211-1228