Investigation of the Hepatoprotective, Antoxidant and Antifibrotic Effects of Desert Date (Balanites aegyptiaca) Oil in an Experimental Model of Liver Fibrosis in Rats
Keywords:Hepatic fibrosis, chronic hepatic diseases, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antifibrotic
Background: Hepatic fibrosis is one of the most common lesions during chronic hepatic diseases. It is a significant health issue in many countries because it can lead to cirrhosis and ultimately liver failure without careful treatment. No successful management to treat this condition has been established so far. Some medicinal plants are particularly important in this sense because of the intrinsic healing ability of their plants, as well as their long-term therapeutic capabilities and few side effects. The hepatoprotective role of desert date oil (DDO) is clearly indicated in recent studies; however, the accurate mechanisms are still unknown. Objectives: The present study was designed to investigate the hepatoprotective, antioxidant, and antifibrotic effects of desert date oil against the hepatic damage and oxidative stress induced by thioacetamide (TAA) administration in male rats. Material & Methods: In this study, 40 healthy adult albino rats were divided into four groups: group 1 (control), group 2 received orally DDO (500 mg/kg b.wt/orally every day), group 3 was injected intraperitoneally by TAA by intraperitoneal (I.P.) injection of 200 mg/kg b.wt, twice weekly to induce liver fibrosis, group 4 was injected by I.P. TAA and received DDO orally every day by the same doses as above. At the end of the experiment (8 weeks), the rats of different groups were sacrificed, and blood samples were collected for the determination of the liver function tests. Then, the abdomen of rats of different groups was opened, where the liver was removed, weighted and cut into small pieces; some pieces were homogenized to measure the oxidative (malondialdehyde [MDA]) (MDA) and antioxidative parameters (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), while other pieces were processed for different histological and immunohistochemical techniques. Results: The present study revealed that TAA administration to rats resulted in a significant decrease in body weight gain with an increased liver/body weight ratio (liver weight index). In addition, the levels of liver enzymes (ALT, AST, and ALP) and total bilirubin were significantly increased, while the levels of total protein and albumin were statistically decreased. TAA led to a significant increase in MDA, a lipid peroxidation marker, with a concomitant decrease in antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GPx) when compared with the control group. The histopathological examination showed abnormal changes characterized by an obvious increase in the collagen content, and bridging fibrosis with the hepatic cells showed various degenerative changes in the cytoplasm and nucleus. The administration of DDO along with TAA resulted in improvements in all biochemical tests and histopathological changes and significantly attenuated TAA-induced oxidative damage. Conclusion: This study revealed that desert date oil has antifibrotic and hepatoprotective effects against the liver fibrosis, biochemical and structural changes induced by TAA
administration in rats; possibly due to its antioxidant properties. Additionally, the obtained results confirmed that this oil is a potential protective natural therapy against liver fibrosis induced in the course of many chronic liver diseases.
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