Jilin Ginseng Academy, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin, China; Jilin Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Center of Health Food of Chinese Medicine, Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin, China. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : Hedansanqi Tiaozhi Tang extract (HTT) consists of Notoginseng, Danshen, Hawthorn and Lotus leaf from traditional Chinese medicine, which has significant therapeutic effects on hyperlipidemia in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). OBJECTIVE : This study sought to evaluate the pharmacological effects and molecular mechanism of HTT for the treatment of hyperlipidemia in adipocytes and animal model with NAFLD. METHODS : Quantitative phytochemical analysis of HTT was performed by HPLC. Antioxidant activity and the adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells were assessed. In the rat model induced by high-fat diet, lipid-related and antioxidant markers in serum and liver were detected. Moreover, the organ weights, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) score and the levels of Nrf2 and HO-1 in liver sections were analyzed by tissue pathological techniques. RESULTS : 8 constituents were identified in HTT including saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids and others. HTT treatment enhanced antioxidant activities and promoted lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We also found that HTT inhibited weight gain, reduced the lipid profiles and improved the liver function and pathological characteristics induced by high-fat diet. In addition, HTT activated the Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant pathway in the liver. CONCLUSIONS : HTT has protective effect against NAFLD in vitro and in vivo by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant pathway.