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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (10): 1120-1126.doi: 10.3736/jcim20121008

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Comparative study on the effects of different therapeutic methods in preventing and treating nonalcoholic fatty liver in rats

Tao Liu1,2, Li-li Yang1,  Li Zhang1, Hai-yan Song1, Dong-fei Li3, Guang Ji1()   

  1. 1. Institute of Digestive Diseases, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    3. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, East Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai 200120, China
  • Received:2012-05-15 Accepted:2012-06-12 Online:2012-10-20 Published:2018-10-15
  • Contact: Guang Ji

Objective: To explore the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) by comparing the therapeutic efficacy of methods for fortifying the spleen and replenishing qi, warming yang and fortifying the spleen and warming yang to move water. .

Methods: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal, model, Sijunzi Tang (SJZ), Lizhong Tang (LZ), Linggui Zhugan Tang (LGZG) and Shenzhuo Tang (SZ) groups. Rats in the normal group were fed with ordinary diet, while the rats in the other groups were fed with high fat diet including 88% ordinary food, 10% lard oil and 2% cholesterol. After four weeks of treatment, the weight of liver and epididymal fat was recorded respectively for calculating the indexes of liver (liver weight/body weight) and epididymal fat (weight of epididymal fat pads/body weight); the pathological changes in liver tissues were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining; the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), triacylglycerol (TAG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) and liver TAG concentration were analyzed by biochemical test.

Results: Body weight, liver and epididymal fat indexes and liver TAG level of rats all significantly increased in the model group as compared with the normal group (P<0.05). Hepatic fatty infiltration, TAG concentration and the levels of serum TAG and ALT were significantly decreased in the LGZG and SZ groups when compared to those in the model group (P<0.05). In addition, epididymal fat index and serum TC level also significantly decreased in the LGZG group as compared with the model group (P<0.05). However, there was no significant change in liver TAG concentration in LZ and model groups.

Conclusion: Method of warming yang or moving water can promote the lipid metabolism. It may be an effective strategy in preventing and treating NAFL by treating with warming yang and moving water together.

Key words: fatty liver, therapeutic methods (TCM), rats

Table 1

Prescription composition"

Formula Radix
Rhizoma Atractylodis
Poria Radix
Sijunzi Tang 15 g 9 g 9 g 6 g / /
Lizhong Tang 15 g 9 g / 9 g / 9 g
Linggui Zhugan Tang / 6 g 12 g 6 g 9 g /
Shenzhuo Tang / 6 g 12 g 6 g / 12 g

Figure 1

Pathological changes in liver tissue of rats with NAFL observed by light microscopy (hematoxylin and eosin staining, ×200) A: Normal group; B: Model group; C: Sijunzi Tang group; D: Lizhong Tang group; E: Linggui Zhugan Tang group; F: Shenzhuo Tang group. NAFL: nonalcoholic simple fatty liver."

Table 2

Effects of different therapeutic methods on body weight, liver index, EFPW/BW and TAG content in liver tissues of rats with NAFL ($\overline{x}$±s)"

Group n Body weight (g) Liver index (%) EFPW/BW (%) TAG (mg/g liver tissue)
Normal 8 309.00±20.87 3.52±0.11 0.09±0.01 14.73±1.93
Model 8 326.75±19.08* 4.57±0.31* 0.11±0.01* 101.72±9.71*
Sijunzi Tang 8 314.00±10.45 4.52±0.20 0.10±0.01 90.03±7.80
Lizhong Tang 8 319.75±11.06 4.59±0.21 0.11±0.01 94.83±8.13
Linggui Zhugan Tang 8 320.38±19.46 4.35±0.13 0.09±0.01 80.83±12.63
Shenzhuo Tang 8 312.38±11.94 4.27±0.13 0.11±0.01 82.66±12.26

Table 3

Effects of different therapeutic methods on liver function in rats with NAFL ($\overline{x}$±s, U/L)"

Group n ALT AST
Normal 8 51.1±3.9 137.7±21.0
Model 8 76.2±6.3* 160.5±10.5
Sijunzi Tang 8 75.8±4.4 181.6±37.2
Lizhong Tang 8 70.0±8.0 185.3±15.0
Linggui Zhugan Tang 8 64.9±6.7 149.3±7.6
Shenzhuo Tang 8 69.9±3.1 140.9±9.5

Table 4

Effects of different therapeutic methods on blood lipids in rats with NAFL ($\overline{x}$±s, mmol/L)"

Normal 8 1.13±0.32 1.50±0.13 0.87±0.09 0.55±0.04
Model 8 1.13±0.38 2.32±0.31* 1.69±0.30* 0.44±0.02*
Sijunzi Tang 8 1.36±0.54 2.32±0.26 1.66±0.23 0.45±0.03
Lizhong Tang 8 0.95±0.31 2.29±0.18 1.67±0.15 0.43±0.03
Linggui Zhugan Tang 8 0.52±0.16 2.03±0.18 1.46±0.18 0.42±0.04
Shenzhuo Tang 8 0.59±0.14 2.10±0.22 1.55±0.18 0.40±0.03
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