6-Shogaol alleviates CCl4-induced liver fibrosis by attenuating inflammatory response in mice through the NF-κB pathway
Liver fibrosis is a global health problem caused by a number of diseases related to liver damage. 6-Shogaol is a biologically active substance derived from the rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe with anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. To explore the effects of 6-Shogaol on liver fibrosis, we used a mouse model of the condition in which mice were injected intraperitoneally with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) at a dose of 2 mL/kg three times per week for a period of 4 weeks. 6-Shogaol was administered orally at two different doses (5 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg) 30 min before CCl4 injection. CCl4 induced severe liver injury and fibrosis, as indicated by significant inflammatory cell infiltration, disordered liver structure, increased activities of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase (liver damage markers) in serum, elevated collagen deposition, and overexpressed alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA, marker of hepatic stellate cells activation) in liver tissues, whereas 6-Shogaol administration rescued those alterations dose-dependently. We found that 6-Shogaol suppressed CCl4-induced inflammatory response by inhibiting macrophage recruitment, release of pro-inflammatory factors, and activation of the NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in liver tissues. Additionally, we demonstrated that 6-Shogaol blocked CCl4-induced activation of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which is a vital transcriptional regulator of the inflammatory response. Altogether, this study demonstrates that 6-Shogaol can prevent CCl4-induced liver fibrosis by suppressing inflammatory response through the NF-κB pathway and suggests that 6-Shogaol can be used for liver fibrosis prevention.
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