Research Paper Volume 15, Issue 12 pp 5887—5916

Swertia cincta Burkill alleviates LPS/D-GalN-induced acute liver failure by modulating apoptosis and oxidative stress signaling pathways

Xinyan Wu1, *, , Xiaomei Zheng1, *, , Qiqi Wen1, , Yang Zhang1, , Huaqiao Tang1, , Ling Zhao1, , Fei Shi1, , Yinglun Li1, , Zhongqiong Yin1, , Yuanfeng Zou1, , Xu Song1, , Lixia Li1, , Xinghong Zhao1, , Gang Ye1, ,

  • 1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang, Chengdu, China
* Equal contribution

Received: April 6, 2023       Accepted: June 15, 2023       Published: June 27, 2023
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2023 Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Swertia cincta Burkill is widely distributed along the southwestern region of China. It is known as “Dida” in Tibetan and “Qingyedan” in Chinese medicine. It was used in folk medicine to treat hepatitis and other liver diseases.

To understand how Swertia cincta Burkill extract (ESC) protects against acute liver failure (ALF), firstly, the active ingredients of ESC were identified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), and further screening. Next, network pharmacology analyses were performed to identify the core targets of ESC against ALF and further determine the potential mechanisms. Finally, in vivo experiments as well as in vitro experiments were conducted for further validation. The results revealed that 72 potential targets of ESC were identified using target prediction. The core targets were ALB, ERBB2, AKT1, MMP9, EGFR, PTPRC, MTOR, ESR1, VEGFA, and HIF1A. Next, KEGG pathway analysis showed that EGFR and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways could have been involved in ESC against ALF. ESC exhibits hepatic protective functions via anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects. Therefore, the EGFR-ERK, PI3K-AKT, and NRF2/HO-1 signaling pathways could participate in the therapeutic effects of ESC on ALF.


ALB: Albumin; ALF: Acute liver failure; ALT: Alanine aminotransferase; AST: Aspartate aminotransferase; BP: Biological process; CAT: Catalase; CC: cellular component; CCK-8: Cell counting kit-8; CHM: Chinese herbal medicines; ESC: Swertia cincta Burkill extract; GSH: Glutathione; HE: Hematoxylin and eosin; LC-MS: Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; LPS/D-GalN: Lipopolysaccharide/ D-galactosamine; MD: Molecular dynamics; MDA: Malondialdehyde; MF: molecular function; PI/AM: acetoxymethyl/propidium iodide; Rg: Radius of gyration; RMSD: Root means square deviation; RMSF: Root-mean-square fluctuations; ROS: Reactive oxygen species; RT: Retention time; SOD: Superoxide dismutase; TCM: Traditional Chinese medicine; TIC: total ion current chromatograms; TP: Total proteins; TUNEL: TdT-mediated DUTP nick end labelling.