Honokiol induces apoptosis via cytochrome c release and caspase activation in activated rat hepatic stellate cells in vitro.

Research paper by Eun-Jeon EJ Park, Yu-Zhe YZ Zhao, Young Ho YH Kim, Byung-Hoon BH Lee, Dong Hwan DH Sohn

Indexed on: 29 Jan '05Published on: 29 Jan '05Published in: Planta medica


The therapeutic goal in liver fibrosis is the reversal of fibrosis and the selective clearance of activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by inducing apoptosis. Over the past several years, we have screened for natural products that mediate apoptosis in activated HSCs. Among the candidate compounds, honokiol, isolated from Magnoliae cortex, was found to induce apoptotic death in activated rat HSCs, while there was no cell viability change in hepatocytes, at concentrations of 12.5-50 microM. Apoptosis was identified by DNA fragmentation, activation of caspase-3 and -9, and the proteolytic cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, down-regulation of bcl-2 and the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into the cytoplasm.