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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 284963, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/284963
Research Article

The Chinese Herbal Decoction Danggui Buxue Tang Inhibits Angiogenesis in a Rat Model of Liver Fibrosis

1Institute of Liver Diseases, ShuGuang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2The MOE Key Laboratory for Standardization of Chinese Medicines and the SATCM Key Laboratory for New Resources and Quality Evaluation of Chinese Medicines, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201210, China
3Angiogenesis & Chinese Medicine Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PD, UK
4E-Institute of TCM Internal Medicine, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai 201203, China
5Shanghai Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Clinical Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 20 February 2012; Revised 13 May 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012

Academic Editor: Chang-Quan Ling

Copyright © 2012 Jing Lv 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

In this study, we investigated the anti-angiogenic effect of the Chinese herbal decoction Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT; Radix Astragali and Radix Angelicae sinensis in 5 : 1 ratio) in a rat model of liver fibrosis, in order to elucidate its mechanisms of action against liver fibrosis. Liver fibrosis was induced with CCl4 and high-fat food for 6 weeks, and the rats were treated with oral doses of DBT (6 g raw herbs/kg/d) and N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC; 0.1 g/kg/d). The results showed that both DBT and NAC attenuated liver fibrosis and neo-angiogenesis. Furthermore, DBT and NAC improved SOD activity but decreased MDA content and 8-OH-dG in fibrotic livers, with DBT being more effective than NAC. DBT decreased the expression of VEGF, Ang1 and TGF-β1 and their signaling mediators, whereas NAC had no effect on VEGF and VEGFR2 expression. Both DBT and NAC reduced HIF-1α gene and protein expression in fibrotic livers, with DBT being more effective. These data clearly demonstrate that the anti-fibrotic properties of DBT are related to its ability to inhibit angiogenesis and its anti-angiogenic mechanisms are associated with improving oxidative stress, regulating the expression and signaling of angiogenic factors, and especially modulating HIF-1α in fibrotic livers.