AIMS AND METHODS: We investigated the effect of silibinin-C-2',3'-dihydrogensuccinate (SDH) on primary human hepatocytes when exposed to ethanol for 14 days. At regular intervals, the medium was refreshed and liver enzymes and secreted protein in the medium were determined. RESULTS: The ethanol-induced release of lactate dehydrogenase (at 34 mM ethanol) was completely blocked by 20 microM SDH. SDH itself stimulated fibrinogen release and had no toxic effect. CONCLUSIONS: We can conclude that SDH has a beneficial effect on human hepatocytes when exposed to ethanol in vitro.