Junjun Guo, Yong Wang, Na Wang, Yulai Bai, Dandan Shi
Introduction and aim. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 are reported to participate in several pregnancy-related diseases, including intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), which is a severe liver disorder in pregnant women. Meanwhile, ample evidences have demonstrated that celastrol inhibits the activity and expression of MMPs. The present study aims to examine the effect of celastrol to alleviate symptoms of ICP in rat model. Material and methods. By inducing ICP with 17 - ethinylestradiol in pregnant female rats, we assessed the impact of celastrol administration on symptoms of ICP, such as the rate of bile flow, the level of total bile acids (TBA), and the activities of MMP-2 and -9. Furthermore, the correlations between the levels of MMPs with the examined ICP symptoms were investigated. Results. In rats with ICP, both MMP-2 and -9 exhibited significantly elevated activities, which were inhibited by the administration of celastrol. Furthermore, ICP symptoms such as bile flow rate and total TBA were restored by celastrol. Lastly, there were strong correlations between levels of the two MMPs and TBA. Conclusion. Our findings described for the first time the effects of celastrol to attenuate ICP symptoms through an inhibition of both MMP-2 and -9, providing evidence for a potential role of celastrol as a new drug for the treatment of ICP.
Key words. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, Celastrol, Matrix metalloproteinase, Ethinylestradiol, Liver disorder