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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 451975, 12 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Therapeutic Effect of Ilex hainanensis Merr. Extract on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease through Urine Metabolite Profiling by Ultraperformance Liquid Chromatography/Quadrupole Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry

1State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, China
2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China

Received 3 May 2013; Revised 16 July 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editor: Chun Tao Che

Copyright © 2013 Jing-jing 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.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common form of chronic liver disease, is increased worldwide in parallel with the obesity epidemic. Our previous studies have showed that the extract of I. hainanensis (EIH) can prevent NAFLD in rat fed with high-fat diet. In this work, we aimed to find biomarkers of NAFLD and investigate the therapeutic effects of EIH. NAFLD model was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by high-fat diet. The NAFLD rats were administered EIH orally (250 mg/kg) for two weeks. After the experimental period, samples of 24 h urine were collected and analyzed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF). Orthogonal partial least squares analysis (OPLSs) models were built to find biomarkers of NAFLD and investigate the therapeutic effects of EIH. 22 metabolites, which are distributed in several metabolic pathways, were identified as potential biomarkers of NAFLD. Taking these biomarkers as screening indexes, EIH could reverse the pathological process of NAFLD through regulating the disturbed pathway of metabolism. The metabolomic results not only supply a systematic view of the development and progression of NAFLD but also provide a theoretical basis for the prevention or treatment of NAFLD.