Background and Objective: A Tibetan traditional herb named Swertia mussotii Franch.,
also called “Zangyinchen” by the local people of the Qinghai-Tibet area, has been used to protect
the liver from injury for many years. However, the curative effect and molecular mechanism of the
herb have not been demonstrated clearly.
Materials and Methods: In our study, serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase,
and total bilirubin levels were examined after S. mussotii Franch. treatment of the acute liver injury
on the carbon tetrachloride-induced rat model. Then, proteome analysis was conducted to explore
the potential mechanism of SMT for hepatoprotective effects after iTRAQLC-MS/MS analysis
(isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer
with tandem mass spectrometry).
Results: Serum results showed that alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and total
bilirubin levels of rats with acute liver injury were all improved with SMT treatment. Moreover,
proteome analysis suggested that, with S. mussotii Franch. treatment, the levels of lipid catabolic
process and lipid homeostasis were all enhanced. Furthermore, the results of protein-protein
interaction (PPI) analysis illustrated that the proteins assembled in PPI networks were found to be
significantly enriched in response to lipid, negative regulation of lipase activity, and in response to
lipopolysaccharides. Furthermore, the down-regulated MRP14 and MRP8 proteins were found to
be involved in the lipid metabolism, which may indicate the mechanism of SMT for the protection
of the liver from ALI induced by carbon tetrachloride.
Conclusion: SMT herb could play a role in hepatoprotection and alleviating the acute liver injury
by impacting the lipid metabolism associated with the biological process.