School of Chinese Medicine
A number of drugs and herbal compounds have been documented to cause hepatoxicity. Schisandrin B (Sch B) is an active dibenzocyclooctadiene isolated from Schisandrae fructus, with a wide array of pharmacological activities. However, the potential hepatotoxicity of Sch B is a major safety concern, and the underlying mechanism for Sch B-induced liver toxic effects is not fully elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the liver toxic effects and the molecular mechanisms of Sch B in mouse liver and macrophage cells. The results have shown that Sch B exhibits potent grow inhibitory, proapoptotic, and proautophagic effects in AML-12 and RAW 264.7 cells. Sch B markedly arrested cells in G1 phase in both cell lines, accompanied by the down-regulation of cyclin dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) and cyclin D1 and up-regulation of p27 Kip1 and checkpoint kinase 1. Furthermore, Sch B markedly increased the apoptosis of AML-12 and RAW 264.7 cells with a decrease in the expression of B-cell lymphoma-extra-large and (Bcl-xl) B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), but an increase in the expression of B-cell lymphoma 2-associated X protein (Bax). Sch B promoted the cleavage of caspase 3 and poly-adenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase (PARP) in both cell lines. Additionally, Sch B significantly induced autophagy of AML-12 and RAW 264.7 cells. Sch B inhibited the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic effect of Sch B. Taken together, our findings show that the inducing effects of Sch B on cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy may contribute to its liver toxic effects, which might provide a clue for the investigation of the molecular toxic targets and underlying mechanisms for Sch B-induced hepatotoxicity in herbal consumers. More studies are warranted to fully delineate the underlying mechanisms, efficacy, and safety of Sch B for clinical use.
AML-12 cell, Bcl-2, Herbal medicine, Liver toxicity, mTOR, RAW 264.7 cell
Source Publication Title
Drug Design, Development and Therapy
Dove Medical Press
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The authors appreciate the financial support from the Startup Fund of the College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. Dr Zhi-Wei Zhou is a holder of a postdoctoral scholarship from College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA. This work has also been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 31071989).
Link to Publisher's Edition
Zhang, Y., Zhou, Z., Jin, H., Hu, C., He, Z., Yu, Z., Ko, K., Yang, T., Zhang, X., Pan, S., & Zhou, S. (2015). Schisandrin B inhibits cell growth and induces cellular apoptosis and autophagy in mouse hepatocytes and macrophages: Implications for its hepatotoxicity. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 9, 2001-2027. https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S77071