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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 139045, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/139045
Research Article

Herbal Supplement Ameliorates Cardiac Hypertrophy in Rats with -Induced Liver Cirrhosis

1Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Department of Life Science, Tunghai University, Taichung 40704, Taiwan
3Emergency Department and Center of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung 43503, Taiwan
4Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 40201, Taiwan
5Department of Pathology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 50006, Taiwan
6Department of Nursing, MeiHo University, Pingtung 91202, Taiwan
7Division of Cardiology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
8Graduate Institute of Chinese Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
9Department of Healthcare Administration, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
10Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
11Department of Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
12Center for Molecular Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
13Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
14Department of Health and Nutrition Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan

Received 31 May 2012; Revised 31 July 2012; Accepted 7 August 2012

Academic Editor: Y. Ohta

Copyright © 2012 Ping-Chun Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We used the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced liver cirrhosis model to test the molecular mechanism of action involved in cirrhosis-associated cardiac hypertrophy and the effectiveness of Ocimum gratissimum extract (OGE) and silymarin against cardiac hypertrophy. We treated male wistar rats with CCl4 and either OGE (0.02 g/kg B.W. or 0.04 g/kg B.W.) or silymarin (0.2 g/kg B.W.). Cardiac eccentric hypertrophy was induced by CCl4 along with cirrhosis and increased expression of cardiac hypertrophy related genes NFAT, TAGA4, and NBP, and the interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling pathway related genes MEK5, ERK5, JAK, and STAT3. OGE or silymarin co-treatment attenuated CCl4-induced cardiac abnormalities, and lowered expression of genes which were elevated by this hepatotoxin. Our results suggest that the IL-6 signaling pathway may be related to CCl4-induced cardiac hypertrophy. OGE and silymarin were able to lower liver fibrosis, which reduces the chance of cardiac hypertrophy perhaps by lowering the expressions of IL-6 signaling pathway related genes. We conclude that treatment of cirrhosis using herbal supplements is a viable option for protecting cardiac tissues against cirrhosis-related cardiac hypertrophy.