BioScience Trends. 2014;8(1):32-37.

Cytokines as potential biomarkers of liver toxicity induced by Dioscorea bulbifera L.

Sheng YC, Ma YB, Deng ZP, Wang ZT, Ji LL


The present study is designed to search for the serum cytokine biomarker for liver injury induced by Dioscorea bulbifera L., which is a traditionally used herbal medicine in China. Mice were orally given various doses of ethyl acetate extract (EF) isolated from D. bulbifera for 12 days. The activity of serum alanine/aspartate transaminases (ALT/AST) was increased in EF (400 mg/kg)-treated mice. Histological assessment further confirmed EF (400 mg/kg)-induced liver injury. Results of a cytokine-antibody array demonstrated that there were 10 cytokines up-regulated and 1 cytokine down-regulated in EF (400 mg/kg)-treated mice. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) further confirmed the increased level of CD30 ligand (CD30L) and decreased level of interlukin-3 (IL-3) in EF-treated mice. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the altered expression of CD30L and IL-3 may be potential biomarkers for hepatotoxicity induced by D. bulbifera.

KEYWORDS: Dioscorea bulbifera L., hepatotoxicity, cytokines, CD30L, IL-3

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