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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 2, Pages 165-171
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem014
Original Article

Cytoprotective Activity of Glycyrrhizae radix Extract against Arsenite-Induced Cytotoxicity

1College of Oriental Medicine, Daegu Haany University, 165 Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu 706-060, Republic of Korea
2Research Center for Biomedical Resources of Oriental Medicine, Daegu Haany University, 165 Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu 706-060, Republic of Korea

Received 9 May 2006; Accepted 16 January 2007

Copyright © 2008 Sang Chan Kim 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

Licorice, Glycyrrhizae radix, is one of the herbal medicines in East Asia that has been commonly used for treating various diseases, including stomach disorders. This study investigated the effect of licorice on arsenite (As)-induced cytotoxicity in H4IIE cells, a rat hepatocyte-derived cell line. Cell viability was significantly diminished in As-treated H4IIE cells in a time and concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, results from flow cytometric assay and DNA laddering in H4IIE cells showed that As treatment induced apoptotic cell death by activating caspase-3. Licorice (0.1 and 1.0 mg ml−1) treatment significantly inhibited cell death and the activity of caspase-3 in response to As exposure. These results demonstrate that licorice induced a cytoprotective effect against As-induced cell death by inhibition of caspase-3.