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Arch Toxicol. 2010 May;84(5):389-96. doi: 10.1007/s00204-010-0511-2. Epub 2010 Jan 30.

Comparative effects of curcumin and resveratrol on aflatoxin B(1)-induced liver injury in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt.


Aflatoxin B(1) is a potent hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic mycotoxin. Lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage are the principal manifestations of aflatoxin B(1)-induced toxicity that could be counteracted by antioxidants. Many plant constituents have been reported to prevent liver damage associated with lipid peroxidation. In this study, curcumin (polyphenolic antioxidant purified from turmeric) and resveratrol (polyphenol obtained from grapes) were evaluated for possible protection against liver injury induced by aflatoxin B(1) in rats. Adult male Fischer rats were divided into six groups including untreated control, curcumin control (200 mg/kg BW), resveratrol control (10 mg/kg BW) and aflatoxin B(1) (25 microg/kg BW). Other two groups were administered either curcumin or resveratrol along with aflatoxin B(1). The study was carried out for 90 days. At the end of the experiment period, blood and tissue samples were collected from the animals before they were killed. Livers were collected for histopathologic studies and fixed in 10% buffered formalin solution. Serum was used for estimation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (gamma-GT) enzymes. The lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were estimated in liver homogenates. The results revealed that aflatoxin B(1) administration caused liver damage as indicated by statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in serum ALT, AST and gamma-GT levels. In addition, there were general statistically significant reductions in the activities of GSH, SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and an increase in lipid peroxidation in the liver of aflatoxin B(1)-treated group compared to the untreated control group. Curcumin showed a significant hepatoprotective activity by lowering the levels of serum marker enzymes, lipid peroxidation and elevating the levels of GSH, SOD, CAT and GSH-Px. However, resveratrol failed to protect from the aflatoxin B(1)-induced liver injury. These findings suggest that curcumin but not resveratrol has a hepatoprotective effect against aflatoxin B(1)-induced liver injury.

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