Abstract Title:

Genistein improves schistosomiasis liver granuloma and fibrosis via dampening NF-kB signaling in mice.

Abstract Source:

Parasitol Res. 2017 Feb 3. Epub 2017 Feb 3. PMID: 28160073

Abstract Author(s):

Chunpeng Wan, Fen Jin, Youqin Du, Kang Yang, Liangliang Yao, Zhigang Mei, Weifeng Huang

Article Affiliation:

Chunpeng Wan


In schistosomiasis, egg deposition in the liver contributes to the formation of hepatic granuloma and fibrosis, which are the most serious clinical pathological features. It has been proposed that activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways is closely associated with the development of hepatic granuloma and fibrosis. Genistein has been shown to inhibit the activity of NF-κB signaling pathways, which might be a potential agent to protect against Schistosoma japonicum egg-induced liver granuloma and fibrosis. Inthis study, liver granuloma and fibrosis were induced by infecting BALB/c mice with 18 ± 3 cercariae of S. japonicum. At the beginning of egg granuloma formation (early phase genistein treatment from 4 to 6 weeks after infection) or after the formation of liver fibrosis (late phase genistein treatment from 6 to 10 weeks after infection), the infected mice were injected with genistein (25, 50 mg/kg). The results revealed that genistein treatment significantly decreased the extent of hepatic granuloma and fibrosis in infected mice. The activity of NF-κB signaling declined sharply after the treatment with genistein, as evidenced by the inhibition of NF-κB-p65, phospho-NF-κB-p65, and phospo-IκB-α expressions, as well as the expression of IκB-α and the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of inflammatory cytokines (MCP1, TNFα, IL1β, IL4, IL10) mediated by NF-κB signaling pathways in the early phase of the infection. Moreover, western blot and immunohistochemistry assays demonstrated that the contents of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-β were dramatically reduced in liver tissue under the treatment of genistein in the late phase of the infection. At the same time, the mRNA expression of MCP1, TNFα, and IL10 was inhibited markedly. These results provided evidence that genistein reduces S. japonicum egg-induced liver granuloma and fibrosis, at least partly due to decreased NF-κB signaling, and subsequently decreased MCP1, TNFα, and IL10 expressions. This implies that genistein can be a potential natural agent against schistosomiasis.

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