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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 379586, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/379586
Research Article

Safety Evaluation of Chinese Medicine Injections with a Cell Imaging-Based Multiparametric Assay Revealed a Critical Involvement of Mitochondrial Function in Hepatotoxicity

1Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 312 Anshanxi Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China
2Research and Development Center of TCM, Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology & Medicine, 220 Dongting Road, TEDA, Tianjin 300457, China
3Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, 750 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Received 19 June 2014; Accepted 25 September 2014

Academic Editor: Junhua Zhang

Copyright © 2015 Meng Wang 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

The safety of herbal medicine products has been a widespread concern due to their complex chemical nature and lack of proper evaluation methods. We have adapted a sensitive and reproducible multiparametric cell-based high-content analysis assay to evaluate the hepatic-safety of four Chinese medicine injections and validated it with classical animal-based toxicity assays. Our results suggested that the reported hepatotoxicity by one of the drugs, Fufangkushen injection, could be attributed at least in part to the interference of mitochondrial function in human HepG2 cells by some of its constituents. This method should be useful for both preclinical screen in a drug discovery program and postclinical evaluation of herbal medicine preparations.