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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 234987, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Puerariae Radix Extract on Endotoxin Receptors and TNF- Expression Induced by Gut-Derived Endotoxin in Chronic Alcoholic Liver Injury

1Institute of Liver Diseases, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Key Laboratory of Liver and Kidney Diseases, Ministry of Education, of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
3Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China
4E-Institute of TCM Internal Medicine, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 10 July 2012; Revised 10 September 2012; Accepted 10 September 2012

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2012 Jing-Hua Peng 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.


Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is one of the earliest medicinal plants used to treat alcohol abuse in traditional Chinese medicine for more than a millennium. However, little is known about its effects on chronic alcoholic liver injury. Therefore, the present study observed the effects of puerariae radix extract (RPE) on chronic alcoholic liver injury as well as Kupffer cells (KCs) activation to release tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) induced by gut-derived endotoxin in rats and macrophage cell line. RPE was observed to alleviate the pathological changes and lipids deposition in liver tissues as well as the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and hepatic gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) activity. Meanwhile, RPE inhibited KCs activation and subsequent hepatic TNF-α expression and downregulated the protein expression of endotoxin receptors, lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), CD14, Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, and TLR4 in chronic alcohol intake rats. Furthermore, an in vitro study showed that RPE inhibited the expression of TNF-α and endotoxin receptors, CD14 and TLR4, induced by LPS in RAW264.7 cells. In summary, this study demonstrated that RPE mitigated liver damage and lipid deposition induced by chronic alcohol intake in rats, as well as TNF-α release, protein expression of endotoxin receptors in vivo or in vitro.