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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 256561, 15 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of the Chinese Medicinal Herb, Graptopetalum paraguayense, as a Therapeutic Treatment for Liver Damage in Rat Models

1Institute of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, National Central University, Jhongli City 32001, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Public Health, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan
3Division of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County, Zhunan 35053, Taiwan
4Biomarker Technology Development Division, Biomedical Technology and Device Research Labs, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu 31040, Taiwan
5Center for Translational Research in Biomedical Sciences, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
6Department of Education and Research, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan
7Institute of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
8National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center, Taipei 11221, Taiwan

Received 1 February 2012; Accepted 9 April 2012

Academic Editor: William C. S. Cho

Copyright © 2012 Li-Jen Su 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.


The incidence of cirrhosis is rising due to the widespread occurrence of chronic hepatitis, as well as the evident lack of an established therapy for hepatic fibrosis. In the search for hepatoprotective therapeutic agents, Graptopetalum paraguayense (GP) showed greater cytotoxicity toward hepatic stellate cells than other tested herbal medicines. Histopathological and biochemical analyses suggest that GP treatment significantly prevented DMN-induced hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in rats. Microarray profiling indicated that expression of most of metabolism- and cell growth and/or maintenance-related genes recovered to near normal levels following GP treatment as classified by gene ontology and LSM analysis, was observed. ANOVA showed that expression of 64% of 256 liver damage-related genes recovered significantly after GP treatment. By examining rat liver samples with Q-RT-PCR, five liver damage-related genes were identified. Among them, Egr1 and Nrg1 may serve as necroinflammatory markers, and Btg2 may serve as a fibrosis marker. Oldr1 and Hmgcs1 were up- and down-regulated markers, respectively. A publicly accessible website has been established to provide access to these data Identification of 44 necroinflammation-related and 62 fibrosis-related genes provides useful insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying liver damage and provides potential targets for the rational development of therapeutic drugs such as GP.