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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (9): 921-927.doi: 10.3736/jcim20080909

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of puerarin on expressions of leptin receptor mRNA, phosphoryla-ted Janus kinase 2/phosphorylated signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 proteins in the liver of rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver

Pei-yong Zheng1, Zan-song Ma1, Yong-qiang Hua1,2, Tao Liu1, Lian-jun Xing1, Guang Ji1()   

  1. 1. Institute of Digestive Diseases and Department of Gastroenterology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    2. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cancer Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2008-01-11 Online:2008-09-20 Published:2008-09-15

Objective: To observe the effects of puerarin on the expressions of leptin receptor mRNA and phosphorylated Janus kinase 2 / phosphorylated signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (P-JAK2/P-STAT3) proteins in the liver of rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD).
Methods: A rat model of NAFLD was successfully established by feeding high-fat diet. All SD rats were randomly divided into blank control group, untreated group, simvastatin-treated group and puerarin-treated group. After four-week treatment, the levels of hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol were analyzed by using an automatic biochemical analyzer. The pathology of the liver tissue was observed by light microscopy. Serum leptin level was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the expressions of leptin receptor mRNA and P-JAK2/P-STAT3 proteins in the liver of NAFLD rats were quantified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis respectively.
Results: Puerarin significantly decreased the levels of hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol in NAFLD rats. Fat degeneration and inflammatory reaction in liver tissues of NAFLD rats were ameliorated after puerarin treatment. The serum leptin level was increased and the expressions of leptin receptor mRNA and P-JAK2/P-STAT3 proteins were up-regulated in puerarin-treated group.
Conclusion: Puerarin can effectively attenuate liver lipid disorder and inflammation by improving the leptin resistance and enhancing the expressions of leptin receptor mRNA and P-JAK2/P-STAT3 proteins

Key words: puerarin, fatty liver, leptin, Janus kinase 2, activating transcription factor 3, rats

CLC Number: 

  • R575.5

Table 1

Liver index of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n Liver index
Blank control 8 2.54±0.23**
Untreated 10 4.20±0.20
Simvastatin-treated 12 3.87±0.43*
Puerarin-treated 12 3.58±0.29**

Table 2

Hepatic inflammation of NAFLD rats in different groups"

Group n Hepatic inflammation grade
0 1 2 3
Untreated 10 0 6 3 1
Simvastatin-treated* 12 3 7 2 0
Puerarin-treated** 12 0 4 8 0

Table 3

Hepatic steratosis of NAFLD rats in different groups"

Group n Hepatic inflammation grade
0 1 2 3
Untreated 10 0 1 6 3
Simvastatin-treated* 12 1 4 6 1
Puerarin-treated** 12 2 8 2 0

Figure 1

Liver characteristics of rats in different groups observed by light microscopy (HE staining, ×400) A: Blank control group; B: Untreated group; C: Simvastatin-treated group; D: Puerarin-treated group."

Table 4

Levels of hepatic TG, TC and serum leptin of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n TG (μmol/ml) TC (μmol/ml) Serum leptin (μg/L)
Blank control 8 0.11±0.04** 1.98±0.53** 131.10±17.24**
Untreated 10 0.77±0.10 9.19±1.03 317.22±39.27
Simvastatin-treated 12 0.67±0.12* 7.65±0.98** 213.56±19.96**
Puerarin-treated 12 0.43±0.12**△△ 6.69±2.43** 204.95±65.86**△△

Table 5

Expressions of LR mRNA and P-JAK/P-STAT3 proteins in the liver of rats in different groups (x±s)"

Group n LR mRNA expression P-JAK2 protein expression P-STAT3 protein expression
Blank control 3 3.13±0.04** 127.30±3.52** 105.20±2.52**
Untreated 3 0.93±0.04 86.74±1.63 79.06±0.69
Simvastatin-treated 3 1.50±0.05** 102.37±1.48* 83.15±1.01**
Puerarin-treated 3 2.78±0.04**△△ 124.34±3.42** 101.94±2.20**△△

Figure 2

Expression of LR mRNA in the liver of rats in different groups 1: Blank control group; 2: Untreated group; 3: Puerarin-treated group; 4: Simvastatin-treated group."

Figure 3

Expression of P-JAK2 protein in the liver of rats in different groups 1: Blank control group; 2: Untreated group; 3: Puerarin-treated group; 4: Simvastatin-treated group."

Figure 4

Expression of P-STAT3 protein in the liver of rats in different groups 1: Blank control group; 2: Untreated group; 3: Puerarin-treated group; 4: Simvastatin-treated group."

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