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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 247357, 19 pages
Research Article

Aqueous Date Flesh or Pits Extract Attenuates Liver Fibrosis via Suppression of Hepatic Stellate Cell Activation and Reduction of Inflammatory Cytokines, Transforming Growth Factor-β1 and Angiogenic Markers in Carbon Tetrachloride-Intoxicated Rats

1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia
2Biochemistry Department, College of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
3Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia

Received 8 November 2014; Revised 11 March 2015; Accepted 12 March 2015

Academic Editor: Gaofeng Liu

Copyright © 2015 Nouf M. Al-Rasheed 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.


Previous data indicated the protective effect of date fruit extract on oxidative damage in rat liver. However, the hepatoprotective effects via other mechanisms have not been investigated. This study was performed to evaluate the antifibrotic effect of date flesh extract (DFE) or date pits extract (DPE) via inactivation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), reducing the levels of inflammatory, fibrotic and angiogenic markers. Coffee was used as reference hepatoprotective agent. Liver fibrosis was induced by injection of CCl4 (0.4 mL/kg) three times weekly for 8 weeks. DFE, DPE (6 mL/kg), coffee (300 mg/kg), and combination of coffee + DFE and coffee + DPE were given to CCl4-intoxicated rats daily for 8 weeks. DFE, DPE, and their combination with coffee attenuated the elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β. The increased levels of transforming growth factor-β1 and collagen deposition in injured liver were alleviated by both extracts. CCl4-induced expression of α-smooth muscle actin was suppressed indicating HSCs inactivation. Increased angiogenesis was ameliorated as revealed by reduced levels and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and CD31. We concluded that DFE or DPE could protect liver via different mechanisms. The combination of coffee with DFE or DPE may enhance its antifibrotic effects.