Synergistic Effects of Jerusalem Artichoke in Combination with Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin Against Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats


Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kafr-El-Sheikh University, Minya, Egypt


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine has been highly appreciated as a supportive regimen for classical treatment strategies. Here we offer a nutrition-based adjuvant therapy for liver fibrosis, a major risk factor for cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Aim of the study: To evaluate the possible hepatoprotective effects of Jerusalem artichoke tubers (JAT) in combination with interferon and ribavirin. Materials and Methods: Twelve groups of rats were administered JAT, interferon and ribavirin either separately or in combination from day one of CCL4 administration until the end of the study. Animals were killed after 8 weeks of CCL4- induced hepatotoxicity. Results: Hepatocytes from rats treated with triple combination of interferon, ribavirin, and JAT showed more less normal architecture compared to CCL4- treated rats. We also detected significantly higher hepatic protein expression levels of p53, BAX and transforming growth factor- (TGF-) in the CCl4- intoxicated group compared to normal controls, as evidenced by immunohistochemical staining and western blotting analyses. Addition of JAT as a supportive regimen improved response to ribavirin and interferon and effectively participated in retaining normal histopathological and biochemical criteria and significantly lowered protein expression of p53, BAX, and TGF-. Conclusions: We suggest that addition of JAT as a supportive regimen to interferon and ribavirin effectively potentiates their anti-fibrotic effects.