Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 87 (3), 177-180 (2001)

REVIEW -Current Perspective-
Hepatoprotective Drugs for the Treatment of Virus-Induced Chronic Hepatitis: From Hypercarcinogenic State to Hypocarcinogenic State

Toshihiro Okamoto1,2, Kazunori Kajino2 and Okio Hino2,*

1Research Laboratories, Nippon Chemiphar Co., Ltd., Saitama 341-0005, Japan
2Department of Experimental Pathology, Cancer Institute, Tokyo 170-8455, Japan

*Corresponding author. FAX: +81-3-5394-3815, E-mail:

Abstract: Interferon (IFN)-based therapy is a standard treatment for chronic hepatitis caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This treatment is effective in approximately 30-40% of the patients and using ribavirin in combination with IFN increases the rate of sustained virologic clearance. For the remaining patients, glycyrrhizin is often used. Glycyrrhizin is known to prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but glycyrrhizin is usually administered intravenously. Drugs that are effective by oral administration are convenient for patients for long-term administration, and development of more effective drugs than glycyrrhizin is preferable. However, studies on drugs for the treatment of hepatitis are not actively conducted, and promotion of the study of drugs in this area is encouraging. For that reason, we show our approach to study drugs for the treatment of hepatitis. We analyzed the effect of glycyrrhizin on hepatitis as a standard chemical using the mouse liver injury model. Based on this, we screened drugs and found that a coumarin derivative seems to be one of model chemicals for the treatment of hepatitis.

Keywords: Prevention, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Drug, Hepatoprotective, Hepatitis

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