Hepatoprotective effects of Berberis vulgaris L. extract/β cyclodextrin on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute toxicity in mice

Anca Hermenean, Cristina Popescu, Aurel Ardelean, Miruna Stan, Nicoleta Hadaruga, Ciprian-Valentin Mihali, Marieta Costache, Anca Dinischiotu
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2012, 13 (7): 9014-34
The present study investigated the capacity of formulated Berberis vulgaris extract/β-cyclodextrin to protect liver against CCl(4)-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Formulated and non-formulated extracts were given orally (50 mg/kg/day) to mice for 7 days and were then intra-peritoneally injected with 1.0 mL/kg CCl(4) on the 8th day. After 24 h of CCl(4) administration, an increase in the levels of apartate-amino-transferase (AST), alanine-amino-transferase (ALT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) was found and a significant decrease in superoxide-dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH) and glutathione-peroxidase (GPx) levels could be detected. This was accompanied by extended centrilobular necrosis, steatosis, fibrosis and an altered ultrastructure of hepatocytes. Pre-treatment with formulated or non-formulated extract suppressed the increase in ALT, AST and MDA levels and restored the level of antioxidant enzymes at normal values. Histopathological and electron-microscopic examination showed milder liver damage in both pre-treated groups and the protective effect was more pronounced after the formulated extract was administered. Internucleosomal DNA fragmentation induced by CCl(4) was reduced in the group which received non-formulated extract and absent in the group which received formulated extract. Taken together, our results suggest that Berberis vulgaris/β-cyclodextrin treatment prevents hepatic injury induced by CCl(4) and can be considered for further nutraceutical studies.

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