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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 518639, 8 pages
Research Article

Qizhi Jiangtang Jiaonang Improves Insulin Signaling and Reduces Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion and Reactive Oxygen Species Formation in Insulin Resistant HepG2 Cells

1Department of Pathogenobiology, The Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Chinese Ministry of Education, College of Basic Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, China
2Jilin Yizheng Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd., Siping, Jilin 136001, China
3The Second Department of Cardiology, The people’s Liberation Army No. 208 Hospital, Changchun, Jilin 130021, China

Received 9 December 2014; Revised 16 April 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: I-Min Liu

Copyright © 2015 Xiao-Tian Zhang 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.


We analyzed the effects of a traditional Chinese medicine, Qizhi Jiangtang Jiaonang (QJJ), on insulin resistance (IR) in vitro. After an in vitro model of IR was established by treating human liver cancer cells (HepG2 cells) with palmitic acid, the cells were then treated with various concentrations of QJJ. Treatment with 400 µM palmitic acid for 24 h induced IR in HepG2 cells. The survival rate for HepG2 cells in the IR group was significantly lower than that of the untreated control group (P < 0.001); however, QJJ restored HepG2 cell survival (P < 0.001). As compared with HepG2 cells in the IR group, QJJ at all doses analyzed significantly increased glucose consumption (all P < 0.05). Moreover, treatment with all the QJJ doses significantly reduced the mean intracellular reactive oxygen species levels as compared with the IR group (all P < 0.05). Furthermore, high-dose QJJ reduced both TNF-α and IL-6 levels as compared to the IR group (all P < 0.05). QJJ ameliorated the altered PI3K, GLUT4, and RAGE expression observed with IR. In conclusion, QJJ can improve IR in HepG2 cells, which may be mediated through the IRS-1/PI3K/GLUT4 signaling pathway as well as regulation of NF-κB-mediated inflammation and oxidative stress.