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Published Online: 3 February 2015

Chlorella Ethanol Extract Induced Phase II Enzyme Through NFE2L2 (Nuclear Factor [Erythroid-Derived] 2-Like 2, NRF2) Activation and Protected Ethanol-Induced Hepatoxicity

Publication: Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 18, Issue Number 2


In this study, we investigated the hepatoprotective effects of ethanol extracts from Chlorella vulgaris (CH) on animals. We measured its effect on the quinone reductase (QR) activity in Hepa1c1c7 cells, finding that CH induced a significantly higher QR activity in these cells. We isolated the active fraction (CH F4-2) from CH using chromatography methods. CH F4-2 may activate cellular antioxidant enzymes through upregulation of the Nrf2 pathway in hepatocarcinoma cells with CH F4-2 (25.0–200 μg/mL) for 48 h. Furthermore, CH F4-2 increased the expression of NQO1 [NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase, also known as QR], heme oxygenase-1, and glutathione-S-transferase P. Moreover, we found that ethanol-induced hepatic pathological changes—elevations in glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase—were significantly decreased. The inhibitory effect of CH on alcohol-induced liver injury was associated with the suppression of alcohol-induced increases in intestinal permeability. The ethanol extract from CH was found to induce QR activation, making it a potentially good candidate for a hepatoprotection agent.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Medicinal Food
Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 18Issue Number 2February 2015
Pages: 182 - 189
PubMed: 25602788


Published online: 3 February 2015
Published in print: February 2015
Published ahead of print: 20 January 2015
Accepted: 20 November 2014
Received: 13 February 2014


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Hee-Guk Byun
Department of Marine Biotechnology, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea.
Jung Kwon Lee
Department of Marine Biotechnology, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea.


Address correspondence to: Hee-Guk Byun, PhD, Department of Marine Biotechnology, Gangneung-Wonju National University, 120 Kangnung-Wonju Daehak-ro, Gangnung, 210-702, Republic of Korea, E-mail: [email protected]

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No competing financial interests exist.

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