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Asian Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 213 - 220

Prevention of Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4)-Induced Liver Damage in Rats by Acanthus montanus

K.C. Patrick-Iwuanyanwu and M.O. Wegwu    

Abstract: The hepatoprotective effects of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus pre-treatment against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver damage in wistar albino rats were investigated. The plant extracts were fed to the rats intragastricaly for 15 days prior to the administration of 0.5 mL CCl4 kg-1 body weight. Serum L-alanine aminotransferase (L-ALT), L-aspartate amino transferase (L-AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, 24 h after CCl4 administration decreased significantly in rats pre-treated with aqueous and alcoholic extracts of both stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus than in CCl4-treated rats only. The aqueous extract of stem of Acanthus montanus showed a marked decrease in the levels of AST, ALT and ALP when compared with the alcoholic extract of stem including aqueous and alcoholic extract of leaf of Acanthus montanus. However, rats fed with the alcoholic extract of leaf of Acanthus montanus was lowest in the level of LDH when compared with the results obtained from the other extracts of the stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus. Determination of total serum bilirubin also showed a remarkable decrease in rats pre-treated with aqueous and alcoholic extracts of stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus when compared with those administered CCl4 alone. Aqueous leaf extract of Acanthus montanus showed the least result in total serum bilirubin when compared with the alcoholic extracts of the leaf and both aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the stem of Acanthus montanus. Lipid peroxidation expressed by malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration was significantly reduced in rats pre-treated with aqueous and alcoholic extracts of stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus than rats administered CCl4-alone. The lowest MDA concentration was observed in aqueous extracts of stem of Acanthus montanus while the highest concentration in rats pre-treated with aqueous and alcoholic extracts of stem and leaf of Acanthus montanus was observed in rats treated with alcoholic extract of stem of Acanthus montanus. Histopathological examinations in rats administered CCl4-alone showed severe hepatic damage to the liver. However, rats pre-treated with extracts of Acanthus montanus showed significant improvements in the architecture of rat liver. The results obtained in this study suggest that alcoholic and aqueous extracts of leaf and stem of Acanthus montanus may prevent liver damage induced by CCl4 in rats.

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