Effects of Phyllanthus acidus (L.) Skeels fruit on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute oxidative damage in livers of rats and mice

Nilesh Kumar Jain, Santram Lodhi, Avijeet Jain, Alok Nahata, Abhay K Singhai
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao, Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine 2011, 9 (1): 49-56

OBJECTIVE: The present study was undertaken with a view to validate the traditional use of Phyllanthus acidus (L.) Skeels fruit as a hepatoprotective agent.

METHODS: The 70% ethanolic extract of P. acidus fruit (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.), and reference drug silymarin (100 mg/kg, p.o.) were given to rats of different groups respectively once a day for 5 d and the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) (2 mL/kg, subcutaneously) was given on days 2 and 3. Serum levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (TB) and total protein (TP) were assessed along with liver histopathological examination. The effects on oxidative stress markers such as lipid peroxidation (LPO), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were also assessed in liver tissue homogenate to evaluate in vivo antioxidant activity. In addition, the effects on hexobarbitone-induced sleeping time were observed and the free radical-scavenging potential was determined by using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazil (DPPH) in mice.

RESULTS: P. acidus extracts and silymarin exhibited a significant hepatoprotective effect as evident from the decreases of serum AST, ALT and ALP levels and LPO and increases in the levels of TP, GSH, SOD, CAT, and GPx compared with control group (P<0.01 or P<0.05). The biochemical results were supplemented with results of histopathological sections of the liver tissues. P. acidus extracts considerably shortened the duration of hexobarbitone-induced sleeping time in mice compared with control group (P<0.01) and showed remarkable DPPH-scavenging activity.

CONCLUSION: The present findings suggest that the hepatoprotective effect of P. acidus against CCl4-induced oxidative damage may be related to its antioxidant and free radical-scavenging potentials.

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