Berberis vulgaris L. effects on oxidative stress and liver injury in lead-intoxicated mice

Jawhar Laamech, Jaouad El-Hilaly, Hamadi Fetoui, Yassine Chtourou, Hanane Gouitaa, Adel Tahraoui, Badiaa Lyoussi
Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine 2017 March 1, 14 (1)
Background Berberis vulgaris L. (BV), commonly known as "Aghriss" in Moroccan pharmacopoeia, is used to cure liver disorders and other diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the protective effect of BV aqueous extract against lead-induced toxicity in mice liver. Methods Sixty IOPS mice were divided into six groups and were treated as follows: group 1 (normal control) received double distilled water; group 2 (toxic control) received lead acetate (5 mg/kg body weight/day) in double distilled water for 40 days; groups 3-6 received BV aqueous extract at doses of 25, 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg body weight , respectively, once daily for 30 days from 11 day after beginning of lead acetate exposure to the end of the experiment. Results Toxic control group showed a significant alteration of serum alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate-aminotransferase (AST), total cholesterol (TC), total bilirubin (TB), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and reduced glutathione (GSH). Histological assessment of lead-intoxicated mice liver revealed alterations in hepatocytes and focal necrosis. BV treatment significantly prevented lead accumulation, increased ALT, AST, TC, and TB, inhibited lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyls(PCO) formation. Additionally, BV extract normalized the antioxidant enzymes (CAT, SOD and GPx), GSH and architecture of liver tissues. Conclusions BV aqueous extract exerts significant hepatoprotective effects against lead-induced oxidative stress and liver dysfunction. The BV effect may be mediated through the enhancement of antioxidant status, lead-chelating abilities and free radicals quenching.

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