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Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):163-6.

Ursolic acid isolated from Eucalyptus tereticornis protects against ethanol toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes.

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Division of Pharmacology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow - 226001, India.


Ursolic acid is the active material isolated from the leaves of the Eucalyptus hybrid E. tereticornis. In the present study, it has shown a significant preventive effect in vitro against ethanol-induced toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes. Compared with the incubation of isolated hepatocytes with ethanol only, the simultaneous presence of ursolic acid in the cell suspension preserved the viability of hepatocytes and reversed the ethanol-induced loss in the level of all the marker enzymes (AST, ALT and AP) studied. Ethanol alone resulted in a 48%-54% decrease in the viability and a 42%-54% reduction in the biochemical parameters of the hepatocytes. Ursolic acid showed a concentration dependent (1-100 microg/mL) preventive effect (12%-76%) on alcohol-induced hepatocyte toxicity by restoring the altered parameters. The results thus suggest the effective use of an in vitro test system as an alternative for in vivo assessment of hepatoprotective activity of purified material.

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