Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Alnus japonica extracts on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats

Sang Tae Kim, Jung Do Kim, Seung Hee Ahn, Gu Seok Ahn, Young Ik Lee, Yoong Seok Jeong
Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2004, 18 (12): 971-5
The stem bark of the Betulaceae plant Alnus japonica, which is indigenous to Korea, has been used as a popular folk medicine for hepatitis and cancer. In this study, the antioxidant activity of the crude extract and the hepatoprotective activities on acetaminophen (AAP)-induced toxicity in the rat liver were evaluated. We investigated the effect of the methanol (AJM) and solvent fracton of the stem bark of Alnus japonica (AJ) on AAP-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. In rat hepatocyte culture, pretreatment with AJM (50, 100, 150 and 200 microg/ml) significantly decreased the cytotoxicity of AAP in a dose-dependent manner. The pretreated with EtOAc and BuOH fraction led to an increase in free radical scavenging activity and a decrease in inhibition of lipid peroxidation, both superoxide dismutase and catalase prevent the hepatotoxicity by AAP in the treatment of A. japonica fraction. We conclude that AJ is an important antioxidant in AAP-induced live hepatotoxicity and that extract of AJM plays a hepatoprotective effects in the against AAP-induced cytotoxicity in cultured rat hepatocytes in vitro. Pending more evaluation for safety and efficacy, AJ can potentially be used in mitigating AAP-induced hepatotoxicity.

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