Therapeutic potential of puerarin against methionine-choline-deficient diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis determined by combination of (1)H NMR spectroscopy-based metabonomics and 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Affiliation

Gong MJ(1), Zhu CY(2), Zou ZJ(3), Han B(3), Huang P(4).
Author information:
(1)School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China; School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China.
(2)The Sixth Affilicated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510655, China.
(3)School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China.
(4)School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Previously published studies have revealed the protective effect of puerarin against non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but the definite mechanism of this effect still remains unclear. The present work was an attempt to assess the beneficial effects and the underlying mechanisms of puerarin on methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced NASH in C57BL/6 mice by using a combination of metabonomics and 16S rRNA gene sequencing technology. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabonomics showed significant hepatic and urinary metabolic phenotype changes between MCD-diet fed mice and the healthy controls. A total of eight and thirteen metabolites were identified as differential metabolites associated with NASH in liver tissue and urine of mice, respectively. The proposed pathways mainly included pyrimidine metabolism, one-carbon metabolism, amino acid metabolism, glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies. Furthermore, 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis delineated remarkable variations in gut microbiota profiles in response to MCD diet in mice and forty differential bacterial taxa related to NASH were found between the control and model group. Puerarin could improve hepatic steatosis and inflammation in NASH mice via partially ameliorating metabolic disorders and rebalancing the gut flora. Specifically, puerarin could inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-producing genus Helicobacter, and promote butyrate-producing genus Roseburia. These findings offered novel insights into the in-depth understanding of the pathogenesis of NASH and provided further evidence for the potential use of puerarin as an anti-NASH agent.