Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 579–584 | Cite as

Kampo formula “Hochu-ekki-to” suppressed carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice

Short Communication



The aim of this study was to investigate whether pretreatment with the Japanese herbal medicine “Hochu-ekki-to” (TJ-41) has an ameliorative effect on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity through anorexia prevention.


Twenty-four hours before CCl4 injection, TJ-41 or saline solution was intraperitoneally administered. Furthermore, 24 h after TJ-41 injection, mice were intraperitoneally administered 1.6 g/kg CCl4 or olive oil. Moreover, 24 h after CCl4/olive oil injection, mice from each group were euthanized and bled for plasma analysis.


Mice injected with CCl4 exhibited severe anorexia. Moreover, CCl4 increased the plasma levels of hepatic injury markers (i.e., alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase) as well as lipid peroxidation and hepatic Ca levels. Pretreatment with TJ-41 recovered the CCl4-induced anorexia and plasma levels of the hepatic injury markers. Moreover, CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and hepatic Ca levels decreased upon TJ-41 pretreatment. In addition, hepatic metallothionein levels in the TJ-41 + CCl4-treated group were decreased by >50 % compared with the levels in the TJ-41-treated group, implying that metallothionein was consumed by CCl4-induced radicals.


Our results suggest that TJ-41 attenuates CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity, presumably by the induction of metallothionein, which in turn scavenges radicals induced by CCl4 exposure.


Carbon-tetrachloride Liver Hochu-ekki-to Oxidative stress 



The authors thank Dr. Kenichi Saeki and Dr. Nobuyuki Fukuishi (Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan) for their kind suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Hygiene 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyKinjo Gakuin UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of NutritionKobe Gakuin UniversityKobeJapan

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