Chen ML[1,2], Ip SP, Tsai SH, Ko KM, Che CT
 School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing, China
 Department of Biochemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science of Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China
Wu-Zi-Yan-Zong-Wan (WZ) is a traditional Chinese herbal formula which is commonly used for treating patients with "Yang deficiency". In the present study, the effect of WZ on ethanol-induced toxicity in CYP2E1 cDNA-transfected HepG2 (E47) cells was investigated. WZ extract was obtained by extracting the herbal powder with 50% ethanol (v/v, in water) and the effect of the extract on ethanol-induced toxicity was investigated in cultured cells. The treatment with WZ extract (12.5–200 ug/mL) for 24 h dose-dependently protected against ethanol-induced toxicity in E47 cells, as evidenced by the enhanced cell viability and decreased extent of lactate dehydrogeanse leakage. The cytoprotection against ethanol-induced toxicity was associated with decreases in the extents of reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation, as well as increases in mitochondrial reduced glutathione and membrane potential. In addition, WZ extract treatment also suppressed the formation of DNA fragments in ethanol-intoxicated E47 cells. WZ extract was found to protect against the ethanol-induced toxicity in E47 cells, possibly by virtues of its antioxidant activity.