Role of α-lipoic acid in LPS/d-GalN induced fulminant hepatic failure in mice: studies on oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis.

Research paper by Xiaomin X Xia, Chuanyang C Su, Juanli J Fu, Pu P Zhang, Xiaoji X Jiang, Demei D Xu, Lihua L Hu, Erqun E Song, Yang Y Song

Indexed on: 22 Jul '14Published on: 22 Jul '14Published in: International Immunopharmacology


This study investigated the protective effect of α-lipoic acid (LA) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/d-galactosamine (d-GalN)-induced fulminant hepatic failure in mice. First, we found that LA markedly reduced LPS/d-GalN-induced increases in serum ALT and AST activities, which were supplemented with histopathological examination, suggested that LA has a protective effect on this model of hepatic damage. Livers challenged with LPS/d-GalN exhibited extensive areas of vacuolization with the disappearance of nuclei and the loss of hepatic architecture. On the contrary, these pathological alterations were ameliorated by LA treatment. Next, we found that ROS and TBARS levels were increased in LPS/d-GalN treated liver homogenates, which were attenuated by LA administration. Consistently, decreases in hepatic CAT and GPx activities were observed in LPS/d-GalN group and were significantly restored by LA administration. Moreover, pretreatment with LA markedly reduced LPS/d-GalN-induced iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, NF-κB, IL-1β and IL-6 expressions. Furthermore, our data showed that TUNEL-positive cells increased in LPS/d-GalN-treated mice liver which was counteracted by LA administration. LPS/d-GalN induced apoptosis of hepatocytes, as estimated by caspase 3, caspase 8 and caspase 9 activations. Also, the increasing of Bax and the decreasing of Bcl-2 expressions also supported LPS/d-GalN induced apoptosis. Interestingly, LA marked relieved these apoptotic features. Taking together, our results indicated that LA plays an important role on LPS/d-GalN-induced fulminant hepatic failure through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic activities.