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J Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Nov 30;39(6):656-61.

Silymarin modulates Cisplatin-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity in rats.

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Health Radiation Research Department, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, Cairo, Egypt.


Cisplatin (CDDP) is a widely used anticancer drug, but at high dose, it can produce undesirable side effects such as hepatotoxicity. Because silymrin has been used to treat liver disorders, the protective effect of silymarin on CDDP-induced hepatotoxicity was evaluated in rats. Hepatotoxicity was determined by changes in serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT] and aspartate aminotransferase [AST], nitric oxide [NO] levels, albumin and calcium levels, and superoxide dismutase [SOD], glutathione peroxidase [GSHPx] activities, glutathione content, malondialdehyde [MDA] and nitric oxide [NO] levels in liver tissue of rats. Male albino rats were divided into four groups, 10 rats in each. In the control group, rats were injected i.p. with 0.2 ml of propylene glycol in saline 75/25 (v/v) for 5 consecutive days [Silymarin was dissolved in 0.2 ml of propylene glycol in saline 75/25 v/v]. The second group were injected with CDDP (7.5 mg /kg, I.P.), whereas animals in the third group were i.p. injected with silymarin at a dose of 100 mg/kg/day for 5 consecutive days. The Fourth group received a daily i.p. injection of silymarin (100 mg/kg/day for 5 days) 1 hr before a single i.p. injection of CDDP (7.5 mg/kg). CDDP hepatotoxicity was manifested biochemically by an increase in serum ALT and AST, elevation of MDA and NO in liver tissues as well as a decrease in GSH and the activities of antioxidant enzymes, including SOD, GSHPx in liver tissues. In addition, marked decrease in serum NO, albumin and calcium levels were observed. Serum ALT, AST, liver NO level, MDA was found to decreased in the combination group in comparison with the CDDP group. The activities of SOD, GSHPx, GSH and serum NO were lower in CDDP group than both the control and CDDP pretreated with silymarin groups. The results obtained suggested that silymarin significantly attenuated the hepatotoxicity as an indirect target of CDDP in an animal model of CDDP-induced nephrotoxicity.

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