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Alcohol Alcohol. 2011 Jul-Aug;46(4):451-8. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agr060. Epub 2011 May 26.

Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaf extract protects against hepatic damage induced by chronic ethanol administration in Wistar rats.

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Drug Metabolism and Toxicology Research Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.



This study focused on the possible protective effect of Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaf extract (CA) against hepatic damage induced by chronic ethanol administration in rats.


Male Wistar rats were distributed into seven groups of six rats each. The first group was the control, second group received 20% ethanol-only (7.9 g/kg), third and fourth groups were pre-treated with CA (100 and 200 mg/kg, respectively) before treatment with ethanol. The fifth and sixth groups received CA and kolaviron (KV; 200 mg/kg), respectively, while the seventh group received KV and ethanol. KV served as the reference antioxidant.


Ethanol-treated rats had significantly (P < 0.05) elevated serum and liver post-mitochondrial malondialdehyde, an index of lipid peroxidation. Ethanol toxicity lowered the antioxidant defense indices, such as reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). Specifically, the activities of hepatic SOD and CAT decreased by 48 and 51%, respectively, while the level of GSH decreased by 56%. In addition, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins-cholesterol levels were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated in ethanol-treated rats. Also, significant (P < 0.05) elevation in serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, and γ-glutamyl transferase activities were observed in ethanol-treated rats. Supplementation with CA significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the activities of liver marker enzymes, stabilized the lipid profiles and restored the antioxidants status of ethanol-treated rats. The activities of CA were comparable with KV in the ethanol-treated rats. This observation was supported by histopathological examination of liver slides.


These findings suggest the hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of CA leaf extract, which offered protection against ethanol-induced toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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