Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf (Lemon grass) extract in paracetamolinduced hepatotoxicity in rats
Purpose: To investigate the protective effect of Cymbopogon citrates Stapf. (CS, lemongrass) extract on paracetamol (PCM)-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Methods: The rats were orally administered CS extract (1000 mg/kg/day) for 30 days prior to induction of hepatotoxicity by a single oral administration of PCM (3 g/kg). Hepatoprotection was assessed by measuring the level of hepatic markers including aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT) and oxidant/antioxidant markers including Malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl, and glutathione (GSH) in liver homogenate and serum. Phytochemical screening of the CS extract was also performed.
Results: Phytochemical screening of the extract indicate the presence of tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. Elevation of serum AST, ALT, and MDA levels along with depletion GSH in the liver were observed in rats treated with PCM alone compared with control (p < 0.05). Pre-treatment of the animal with CS extract reduced the levels of hepatic markers (AST and ALT). Pre-treatment with CS extract also significantly reduced oxidative stress induced by PCM as shown by an increase in GSH level and reduction of MDA compared to rats treated with PCM alone (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The results indicate that CS possesses antioxidant activity and it exerts its effect by reducing lipid peroxidation and restoring GSH. Pre-treatment with CS extract reduces oxidative stress and ameliorates hepatic injury induced by PCM.
Keywords: Cymbopogon citratus, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Hepatotoxicity