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Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Jan;281(1-2):87-93.

Antioxidant activity of Terminalia arjuna bark extract on N-nitrosodiethylamine induced hepatocellular carcinoma in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Environmental Toxicology, Dr. ALM Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the antioxidant nature of ethanolic extract of Terminalia arjuna bark (EETA) on N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) induced liver cancer in male Wistar albino rats. Liver cancer was induced by single intraperitonial injection of DEN (200 mg/kg). After 2 weeks of DEN administration, Phenobarbital (PB) was given to promote the cancer for up to 14 successive weeks. EETA extract (400 mg/kg) was given post-orally for 28 days to hepatocellular carcinoma-bearing rats. After the experimental period, all the animals were sacrificed and serum, liver and kidney samples were collected for further biochemical analysis. The levels of lipid peroxides (LPO) under basal and also in the presence of inducers (H(2)O(2), ascorbate and FeSO(4)) were estimated in serum, liver and kidney of control and experimental animals. Enzymic antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and non-enzymic antioxidants like Vitamin C (Vit-C) and Vitamin E (Vit-E) levels were determined in all the groups of animals. A significant increase in LPO levels were observed while the levels of enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants were decreased, when subjected to DEN induction. These altered enzyme levels were ameliorated significantly by administration of EETA at the concentration of 400 mg/kg in drug-treated animals. This protective effect of EETA was associated with inhibition of LPO induced by DEN and to maintain the antioxidant enzyme levels. Our results show an antioxidant activity of T. arjuna bark against DEN-induced liver cancer.

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