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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2020; 24(5): 385-394

Published online September 1, 2020

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

The hepato-protective effect of eupatilin on an alcoholic liver disease model of rats

Hak Yeong Lee#, Yoonjin Nam#, Won Seok Choi#, Tae Wook Kim, Jaehwi Lee, and Uy Dong Sohn*

College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea

Correspondence to:Uy Dong Sohn
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: January 3, 2020; Revised: June 17, 2020; Accepted: June 18, 2020

This is an Open Access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Eupatilin is known to possess anti-apoptotic, anti-oxidative, and antiinflammatory properties. We report here that eupatilin has a protective effect on the ethanol-induced injury in rats. Sprague?Dawley rats were divided into 6 groups: control, vehicle, silymarin, eupatilin 10 mg/kg, eupatilin 30 mg/kg, and eupatilin 100 mg/kg. Plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were analyzed to determine the extent of liver damage. Total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) were analyzed to determine the level of liver steatosis. Malondialdehyde level, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and glutathione (GSH) level were analyzed to determine the extent of oxidative stress. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β were quantified to verify the degree of inflammation. Based on our findings, chronic alcohol treatment significantly changed the serum indexes and liver indicators of the model rats, which were significantly improved by eupatilin treatment. Rats in the eupatilin-treatment group showed reduced levels of AST, ALT, TG, TC, TNF-α, and IL-1β, increased SOD activity and GSH levels, and improved overall physiology compared to the alcoholic liver disease model rats. H&E staining also verified the eupatilin-mediated improvement in liver injury. In conclusion, eupatilin inhibits alcohol-induced liver injury via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Keywords: Alcoholic liver disease, Ethanol, Eupatilin, Inflammation, Oxidative stress