Silymarin modulates the oxidant-antioxidant imbalance during diethylnitrosamine induced oxidative stress in rats

Author(s): Pradeep K, Mohan CV, Gobianand K, Karthikeyan S


Oxidative stress is a common mechanism contributing to initiation and progression of hepatic damage in a variety of liver disorders. Hence, there is a great demand for the development of agents with potent antioxidant effect. The aim of the present investigation is to evaluate the efficacy of silymarin as a hepatoprotective and an antioxidant against diethylnitrosamine induced hepatocellular damage. Single intraperitoneal administration of diethylnitrosamine (200 mg/kg) to rats resulted in significantly elevated levels of serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT), which is indicative of hepatocellular damage. Diethylnitrosamine induced oxidative stress was confirmed by elevated levels of lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in the liver tissue. The status of non-enzymic antioxidants like, vitamin-C, vitamin-E and reduced glutathione (GSH) were also found to be decreased in diethylnitrosamine administered rats. Further, the status of membrane bound ATPases was also altered indicating hepatocellular membrane damage. Posttreatment with the silymarin (50 mg/kg) orally for 30 days significantly reversed the diethylnitrosamine induced alterations in the liver tissue and offered almost complete protection. The results from the present study indicate that silymarin exhibits good hepatoprotective and antioxidant potential against diethylnitrosamine induced hepatocellular damage in rats.

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