Background: Our current study aimed to evaluate the effect of an Glechoma Hederacea extract (Hitrechol ®) in normal rats and gallstone diseased mice to explore its underlying mechanisms. Normal rats and C57BL/6 mice with/without cholesterol gallstone were used in this study.
Methods: To monitor the effect of Hitrechol ®️ on bile secretion, bile flow rates at 15 min interval until 2 hours post-dosing in normal rats treated with vehicle and Hitrechol ®️ were compared using multiple t-test with a p<0.05 considered as statistically significant different. To further evaluate the effect of Hitrechol ®️ against the development of gallstone, mice were treated with vehicle or Hitrechol (QD-once daily or TID-three times daily) for 3 weeks followed by comparing the levels of bile composition among the treatment groups. In addition, the anti-oxidative biomarkers in liver and anti-inflammatory biomarker in serum were detected and compared among all the treatment groups to evaluate the hepato-protective effect of Hitrechol ®️. The obtained levels of biomarkers and bile composition were compared among different treatment groups using one-way ANOVA tests followed by Tukey’s mutiple comparisons with p<0.05 considered as statistically significant.
Results: Despite no significant impact on the bile flow rate, Hitrechol TID treatment dramatically decreased size and amount of gallstone crystals and total cholesterol level (p<0.05), as well as total bile acid (p<0.05) and several types of bile acid (p<0.05) levels in gallstone diseased model mice. Hitrechol ®️ TID treatment could significantly decrease the frequencies of hepatocyte necrosis and lipid aggregation notably as well as increase the antioxidant enzymes level (p<0.05) in liver.
Conclusions: Our findings for the first time demonstrated the beneficial effect of Hitrechol ®️ against gallstone via its litholytic, liver-protective and antioxidant activities.