Hepatoprotective effects of Coptidis rhizoma aqueous extract on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver hepatotoxicity in rats

Xingshen Ye, Yibin Feng*, Yao Tong, Kwan Ming Ng, Sai Wah Tsao, George K. K. Lau, Cho Wing Sze, Yanbo Zhang, Jun Tang, Jiangang Shen, Seiichi Kobayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Aim of the study
Coptidis rhizoma (CR, Chinese name is Huanglian) has been used in treating infectious and inflammatory diseases for two thousand years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Its related pharmacological basis for the therapeutics has been studied intensively, but CR can also be used for vomiting of “dampness-heat type or acid regurgitation” due to “liver-fire attacking stomach” in TCM, whose symptoms seem to link the hepatic and biliary disorders, yet details in the therapies of liver diseases and underlying mechanism(s) remain unclear. To clarify this ethnopharmacological relevance, hepatoprotective effect of Coptidis rhizoma aqueous extract (CRAE) and its possible mechanism were studied in rats intoxicated with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in the present study.

Materials and methods
Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats aged 7 weeks old were intraperitoneally injected with CCl4 at a dose of 1.0 ml/kg as a 50% olive oil solution. The rats were orally given the CRAE at doses of 400, 600, 800 mg/kg and 120 mg/kg berberine body weight (BW) after 6 h of CCl4 treatment. At 24 h after CCl4 injection, samples of blood and liver were collected and then biochemical parameters and histological studies were carried out.

The results showed that CRAE and berberine inhibited significantly the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD). Observation on the hepatoprotective effect of berberine was consistent to that of CRAE.

The study is the first time to demonstrate that CRAE has hepatoprotective effect on acute liver injuries induced by CCl4, and the results suggest that the effect of CRAE against CCl4-induced liver damage is related to antioxidant property.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2009

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coptidis rhizoma aqueous extract
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Aspartate aminotransferase
  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Liver histopathology


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