Document Type

Journal Article


School of Chinese Medicine




Background: Currently, combined therapy using herbs and synthetic drugs has become a feasible therapeutic intervention against some diseases. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of supplementation with fenofibrate (FF), a chemical drug used for the treatment of hyperlipidemia, and the aqueous extract of Schisandrae Fructus (SF, a Chinese herb) pulp (AqSF-P) or an SF-related synthetic analog, bicyclol (BY), on serum/hepatic lipid levels and liver status in normal and hypercholesterolemic (HCL) mice. Methods: Male mice obtained from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) were fed on a normal diet (ND) or high cholesterol/bile salt (0.5%/0.15%, w/w) diet (HCBD) containing FF (0.03% or 0.1%, w/w) with or without AqSF-P (0.3%−9.0%, based on crude herbal material, w/w) or BY (0.025%, w/w) for 10 days. Then serum lipid levels and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, as well as hepatic triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), and glucose levels, were measured. Results: Oral supplementation with FF significantly reduced serum and hepatic TG, TC, and hepatic glucose levels (approximately 79%) in mice fed with ND or HCBD. FF supplementation combined with AqSF-P or BY increased FF-induced reduction in hepatic TC and TG contents in ND-fed mice (up to 67%) and in HCBD-fed mice (up to 54%), when compared with FF supplementation alone. Hepatic glucose-lowering effect of FF was enhanced (up to 19%) by AqSF-P cosupplementation in both normal and HCL mice. FF supplementation enhanced the excretion of fecal TC (by 75%) in mice fed with HCBD. Fecal TC contents were increased by 14%/9% in the combination therapy with FF and AqSF-P in ND-/HCBD-fed mice. Serum ALT activity was elevated by 45% in HCBD-fed mice. FF caused a significant increase in ALT activity by 198% and 120% in normal and HCL mice, respectively. BY markedly attenuated the ALT activity by 54% in mice fed with ND supplemented with 0.1% FF and by 42% in mice fed with HCBD supplemented with 0.03% FF. Conclusion: AqSF-P cosupplementation augmented the hepatic lipid-/glucose-lowering effects of FF. BY ameliorated FF-induced liver injury in normal and HCL mice.


Bicyclol, Fat index, Fatty liver disease, Hepatotoxicity, Interaction, Synergist

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Drug Design, Development and Therapy



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Dove Medical Press

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This work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 31071989).



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