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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 14

Toxins (Basel)



Study on the Mechanism of Mesaconitine-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats Based on Metabonomics and Toxicology Network.


Chen Q, Zhang K, Jiao M, Jiao J, Chen D, Yin Y, Zhang J, Li F
Toxins (Basel). 2022 Jul 14; 14(7).
PMID: 35878224.


Mesaconitine (MA), one of the main diterpenoid alkaloids in Aconitum, has a variety of pharmacological effects, such as analgesia, anti-inflammation and relaxation of rat aorta. However, MA is a highly toxic ingredient. At present, studies on its toxicity are mainly focused on the heart and central nervous system, and there are few reports on the hepatotoxic mechanism of MA. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of MA administration on liver. SD rats were randomly divided into a normal saline (NS) group, a low-dose MA group (0.8 mg/kg/day) and a high-dose MA group (1.2 mg/kg/day). After 6 days of administration, the toxicity of MA on the liver was observed. Metabolomic and network toxicology methods were combined to explore the effect of MA on the liver of SD rats and the mechanism of hepatotoxicity in this study. Through metabonomics study, the differential metabolites of MA, such as L-phenylalanine, retinyl ester, L-proline and 5-hydroxyindole acetaldehyde, were obtained, which involved amino acid metabolism, vitamin metabolism, glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism. Based on network toxicological analysis, MA can affect HIF-1 signal pathway, MAPK signal pathway, PI3K-Akt signal pathway and FoxO signal pathway by regulating ALB, AKT1, CASP3, IL2 and other targets. Western blot results showed that protein expression of HMOX1, IL2 and caspase-3 in liver significantly increased after MA administration ( < 0.05). Combined with the results of metabonomics and network toxicology, it is suggested that MA may induce hepatotoxicity by activating oxidative stress, initiating inflammatory reaction and inducing apoptosis.