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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9208314, 13 pages
Research Article

Extracts of Salvia-Nelumbinis Naturalis Ameliorate Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis via Inhibiting Gut-Derived Endotoxin Mediated TLR4/NF-κB Activation

1Institute of Digestive Diseases, China-Canada Center of Research for Digestive Diseases (ccCRDD), Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
2Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5

Correspondence should be addressed to Li Zhang

Received 10 March 2017; Revised 1 June 2017; Accepted 18 June 2017; Published 31 July 2017

Academic Editor: H. Balaji Raghavendran

Copyright © 2017 Xiangbing Shu 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.


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is featured by the presence of hepatic steatosis combined with inflammation and hepatocellular injury. Gut-derived endotoxin plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of NASH. Salvia-Nelumbinis naturalis (SNN), a formula of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been identified to be effective for NASH, but the mechanisms were not thoroughly explored. In the present study, a NASH model was generated using C57BL/6 mice fed a high fat diet (HFD) supplemented periodically with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in drinking water for 12 weeks. Mice fed HFD alone (without DSS) or chow diet were used as controls. The NASH mice were given the SNN extracts in the following 4 weeks, while control mice were provided with saline. Mice fed HFD developed steatosis, and DSS supplementation resulted in NASH. The SNN extracts significantly improved metabolic disorders including obesity, dyslipidemia, and liver steatosis and reduced hepatic inflammation, circulating tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels. The beneficial effect of the SNN extracts was associated with restoration of intestinal conditions (microbiota, integrity of intestinal barrier) and inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB activation. These results suggest that the SNN extracts ameliorate NASH progression, possibly through blocking endotoxin related TLR4/NF-κB activation.