Herb-induced autoimmune-like hepatitis in C57BL/6J mice

Jir You Wang*, Chang Yin Lee, Po Jung Pan, Wen Chi Chang, Jen Hwey Chiu, Wei Shone Chen, Yi Ming Shyr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Animal model suitable for studying herb-induced experimental autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) remains a challenging problem. A medicinal herb containing Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Sb) and Bupleurum chinense DC (Bc) has been sporadically reported to be related to liver fibrosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Sb and Bc on experimental AIH in mice. Methods: C57BL/6J mice received intraperitoneal injection of Sb and/or Bc herbal extracts (1 mg/kg) for 4 or 8 weeks. Serum samples were collected to analyse serum transferase (AST, ALT), creatinine, markers for AIH and hepatic cytokine levels such as IFN-γ, IL10 and TGF-β1. Peripheral mononuclear cell (PBMC) gene expression profiles were analysed to show their effects on immune system. Results: Our results showed that Sb or Bc treatment increased serum AST, ALT, IgG and ANA levels. Prominent necroinflammatory changes were demonstrated in the livers of Sb- or Bc-treated mice while the decrease in IFN-γ and elevation of IL10 and TGF-β1 levels in liver tissues. Furthermore, the PMBC gene expression profile suggested that Sb or Bc treatment could modulate immune responses. Conclusion: We conclude that the presence of AIH in Sb- or Bc-treated mice and C57BL/6J strain mice is a reliable animal model for studying herb-induced AIH-like hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-593
Number of pages11
JournalLiver International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Autoantibody
  • Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH)
  • Bupleurum chinense DC (Bc)
  • Herbs
  • Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Sb)


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