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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6091589, 11 pages
Research Article

1H-NMR Based Serum Metabolomics Study to Investigate Hepatoprotective Effect of Qin-Jiao on Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Acute Hepatotoxicity in Rats

Department of Pharmacy, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xin Tian and Xiaojian Zhang

Received 4 January 2017; Revised 29 May 2017; Accepted 7 June 2017; Published 1 November 2017

Academic Editor: Yohandra R. Torres

Copyright © 2017 Zeyun 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.


Gentiana macrophylla Radix, commonly known as Qin-Jiao (QJ), was recorded alone to treat jaundice in Compendium of Materia Medica and has been frequently prescribed for treatment of liver disease in China. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In the present work, QJ of 1,2 g/kg or silybin of 40 mg/kg (positive control) was orally given to rats for 7 days to verify the protective effect on acute liver damage induced by tetrachloride (CCl4). Together with serum biochemistry and histopathological examination, 1H-NMR based metabolomics work was carried out to investigate the efficacy. It turned out that QJ of 2 g/kg exerted comparable protective effect with positive control and partially recovered disturbed metabolism by CCl4. Multivariate analysis was conducted and metabolites altered significantly among groups were assigned and discussed, including betaine, glucose, lactate, creatine, and LDL/VLDL. Metabolic regulations involved in QJ or silybin treatment were as follows: tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, synthesis of LDL/VLDL, and gluconeogenesis were enhanced, while betaine metabolism, glycolysis, creatine metabolism, synthesis of ketone bodies, amino acids metabolism, and -oxidation of fatty acids were suppressed. For the first time hepatoprotective effect of QJ on acute liver damage was revealed by 1H-NMR based metabolomics, prompting understanding of the underlying mechanism.