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Purpose: To evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous-ethanol (30:70 %) extract of Alhagi maurorum Boiss. (Leguminosae) whole plant against paracetamol-induced liver injury in experimental rabbits.
Methods: Aqueous-ethanol extract of Alhagi maurorum at doses of 250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg body weight, p.o., was administered for 7 days in paracetamol (2 gm/kg, s.c.) intoxicated rabbits and compared with silymarine (50 mg/kg, p.o.)-treated rabbits. Biochemical parameters, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and total bilirubin (TB) levels were recorded to investigate the degree of improvement in the conditions of the rabbits. The liver was removed, washed with normal saline and preserved in 10 % formalin and used in histopathological studies of hepatic architecture by microscopy. Phytochemical screening of the extract was also carried out.
Results: The levels of biochemical parameters were increased in paracetamol intoxicated rabbits when compared with the normal group. The extract, at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg, exhibited significant (p < 0.001) reduction in biochemical parameters (ALP, SGOT, SGPT and TB). Hepatoprotective activity was also confirmed by histopathological findings. Furthermore, the phytochemical profile of the extract revealed the presence of tannins, alkaloids, saponins and flavonoids.
Conclusion: These results suggest that Alhagi maurorum extract possesses significant hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity and this may be due to the presence of flavonoids and tannins.
Keywords: Alhagi maurorum, Hepatoprotective, Paracetamol, Silymarin, Histopathology