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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 580673, 12 pages
Research Article

Matrine Inhibits Infiltration of the Inflammatory Monocyte Subset in Injured Mouse Liver through Inhibition of Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1

Department of Biochemical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, 325 Guohe Road, Shanghai 200433, China

Received 26 March 2013; Revised 19 June 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editor: Evan Paul Cherniack

Copyright © 2013 Duo Shi 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.


Matrine (Mat) is a major alkaloid extracted from Sophora flavescens Ait, an herb which is used in the traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. The present study examined the impact of Mat on the CCl4-induced hepatic infiltration of monocytes to explore the possible mechanisms underlying its anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. The results indicated that Mat protected mice from acute liver injury induced by single intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 and attenuated liver fibrosis induced by repeated CCl4 injection. Meanwhile, the infiltrations of monocytes in both acute and chronic injured livers were all inhibited, and the enhanced hepatic expression of MCP-1 was suppressed. Cellular experiments demonstrated that Mat directly inhibited MCP-1 production in both nonparenchymal cells and hepatic stellate cells derived from CCl4-injured livers. Transwell chemotaxis assays showed that Mat significantly inhibited the chemotactic activity of MCP-1. These results suggest that the anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects of Mat could be contributed, at least in part, to its prevention of monocyte infiltration into the injured livers and inhibition of MCP-1 production and activity. These findings extend our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects of Mat.