Inchinko-to (TJ-135) is a herbal medicine consisting of three kinds of crude drugs, and in Japan it is administered mainly to patients with cholestasis. The present study evaluated the effects of TJ-135 on concanavalin A (con A)-induced hepatitis in mice in vivo and con A-induced cytokine production in vitro. When mice were pretreated with oral TJ-135 for 1 week before intravenous con A injection, the activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were significantly decreased 8 h after con A administration (-82%, -96% and -66% respectively). In histological investigations, sub-massive hepatic necrosis accompanying inflammatory cell infiltration was not observed in mice pretreated with TJ-135. Serum levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-2 were significantly lower in mice pretreated with TJ-135 compared with controls, while IL-10 levels were higher in these mice. Intrasplenic IL-12 levels were significantly lower in mice pretreated with TJ-135, while intrasplenic IL-10 levels were higher in these mice. In vitro, IL-10 production by splenocytes was increased by the addition of TJ-135 to the culture medium, whereas the production of IL-12 and IFN-γ was inhibited. These results suggest that con A-induced hepatitis was ameliorated by pretreatment with TJ-135. With regard to the mechanism of these effects of TJ-135, we speculate that TJ-135 inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokine and enhances the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore administration of TJ-135 may be useful in patients with severe acute hepatitis accompanying cholestasis or in those with autoimmune hepatitis.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.