Hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extracts of bark of Zanthoxylum armatum DC in CCl4 induced hepatic damage in rats

Lalitsingh Ranawat, Jigar Bhatt, Jagruti Patel
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2010 February 17, 127 (3): 777-80

AIM OF THE STUDY: Zanthoxylum armatum DC is described as a hepatoprotective in Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine. However, there is no scientific basis or reports in the modern literature regarding its usefulness as a hepatoprotective agent. The present study was carried out to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extract of bark of Zanthoxylum armatum DC in CCl(4) induced hepatotoxicity in male Wistar rats.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ethanolic extracts at doses of 100, 200, and 400mg/kg were administered orally once daily for 7 days. The hepatoprotective activity was assessed using various biochemical parameters like alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, serum bilirubin, total protein and serum antioxidant enzymes along with histopathological studies of liver tissue.

RESULTS: The substantially elevated serum enzymatic levels of serum transaminases, alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin were significantly restored towards normalization by the extracts. Bark extracts significantly increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione. Phytochemical analysis revealed presence of isoquinoline alkaloid, berberine, as well as flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which have been known for their hepatoprotective activities.

CONCLUSIONS: Zanthoxylum armatum DC possesses significant protective effect against hepatotoxicity induced by CCl(4) which may be attributed to the individual or combined action of phytoconstituents present in it.

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