Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 392, Issue 12, pp 1617–1628 | Cite as

Chrysin ameliorates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in rats

  • Sarayu A. Pai
  • Renuka P. Munshi
  • Falguni H. Panchal
  • Ila-Shruti Gaur
  • Archana R. JuvekarEmail author
Original Article


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is regarded as the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. It begins with the accumulation of fat in the liver (simple steatosis), which if untreated can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chrysin is a flavonoid present in bee propolis and many other plants. The objective of this study was to determine if chrysin can ameliorate NAFLD induced by feeding a high fructose diet (HFD) in rats. The rats were divided into five groups: normal control, HFD control, chrysin (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg p.o. body weight). Biochemical estimations were carried out in the serum and liver of rats. The gene expressions of SREBP-1c and PPAR α were determined in the liver. The histopathology of the liver was also studied. Chrysin caused a significant decrease in the serum fasting glucose and improved the insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and liver enzymes. It caused a significant decrease in the liver weight and hepatic free fatty acids, triglyceride, and cholesterol content. Chrysin exerted antioxidant effects, reduced carbonyl content, advanced glycation end products, collagen, TNF-α, and IL-6 concentrations in the liver. Chrysin significantly reduced the hepatic gene expression of SREBP-1c and increased that of PPAR-α. The histopathology of liver of rats treated with chrysin showed significant decrease in the steatosis, ballooning, and lobular inflammation when compared to the HFD control group. Thus, chrysin demonstrated anti-steatotic, antiglycating, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic effects and seems to be a promising molecule for the management of NAFLD.


Chrysin Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis SREBP-1c PPAR-α 



advanced glycation end products


alkaline phosphatase


alanine aminotransferase


aspartate aminotransferase


arbitrary units


chrysin 25 mg/kg body weight


chrysin 50 mg/kg body weight


chrysin100 mg/kg body weight


enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


free fatty acids


reduced glutathione


gamma glutamyl transferase


high density lipoprotein cholesterol


high fructose diet


homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance


low density lipoprotein cholesterol




nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


normal control


peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha


superoxide dismutase


sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c


total cholesterol




very low density lipoprotein cholesterol



The authors are grateful to Ms. Deepali Ganachari and Ms. Jaya Verma, Research Fellows at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, T. N. Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital for their technical assistance. The authors thank Dr. Vijay Kadwad and Ms. Shripriya, Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology, Navi Mumbai for their help in performing the radioimmunoassay of insulin and Dr. Sanjay Pawar, Veterinary Pathologist for carrying out the histopathological evaluation of the rat livers.

Authors’ contributions

S.A.P. carried out the literature search and conducted the animal studies, analyzed the results, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. R.P.M. helped in designing the study. F.H.P. and I.S.G. carried out the RT-PCR studies. A.R.J. contributed to the design of the study and overall supervision. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India (Letter no.F.25-1/2014-15 (BSR)/No. F.5-63/2007 (BSR) dated 16 February 2015).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement on the welfare of animals

All experimental protocols described in this paper were approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee of T. N. Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital (protocol no. TNMC/IAEC/2016/8B). All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Supplementary material

210_2019_1705_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 32 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmacology Research Lab-1, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and TechnologyInstitute of Chemical TechnologyMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PharmacologyT. N. Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable HospitalMumbaiIndia

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