Liver damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) remains a primary issue in liver transplantation and resection. Alpinetin, a novel plant flavonoid derived from Alpinia katsumadai Hayata, is widely used to treat various inflammatory diseases. However, the effects of alpinetin on hepatic I/R injury remain unclear. The present study investigated the protective effects of alpinetin pretreatment on hepatic I/R injury in mice. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 1 h of partial hepatic ischemia followed by 6 h of reperfusion. Alpinetin (50 mg/kg) was given by intraperitoneal injection 1 h before liver ischemia. The blood and liver tissues were collected to assess biochemical indicators, hepatocyte damage, and levels of proteins related to signaling pathways. Furthermore, a hepatocytes hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model was established for in vitro experiments. In vivo, we observed that alpinetin significantly attenuated the increases in alanine aminotransferase, aspartate transaminase, proinflammatory cytokines, hepatocyte damage, and apoptosis caused by hepatic I/R. Moreover, the hepatic I/R-induced nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways were suppressed by alpinetin. In vitro, we also observed that alpinetin inhibited the inflammatory response, apoptosis, and activation of the NF-κB/MAPK pathways in hepatocytes after H/R treatment. Our data indicate that alpinetin ameliorated the inflammatory response and apoptosis induced by hepatic I/R injury in mice. The protective effects of alpinetin on hepatic I/R injury may be due to its ability to inhibit the NF-κB/MAPK signaling pathways. These results suggest that alpinetin is a promising potential therapeutic reagent for hepatic I/R injury.
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