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Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(10):6529-43. doi: 10.3390/ijms12106529. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of licorice extract against CCl₄-induced oxidative damage in rats.

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Department of General Surgery, Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China; E-Mails: (H.Z.H.); (B.W.); (Y.K.L.); (Y.Y.B.).


Licorice has been used in Chinese folk medicine for the treatment of various disorders. Licorice has the biological capabilities of detoxication, antioxidation, and antiinfection. In this study, we evaluated the antihepatotoxic effect of licorice aqueous extract (LE) on the carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced liver injury in a rat model. Hepatic damage, as reveled by histology and the increased activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities, and decreased levels of serum total protein (TP), albumin (Alb) and globulin (G) were induced in rats by an administration of CCl(4) at 3 mL/kg b.w. (1:1 in groundnut oil). Licorice extract significantly inhibited the elevated AST, ALP and ALT activities and the decreased TP, Alb and G levels caused by CCl(4) intoxication. It also enhanced liver super oxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (GR), Glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities and glutathione (GSH) level, reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Licorice extract still markedly reverses the increased liver hydroxyproline and serum TNF-α levels induced by CCl(4) intoxication. The data of this study support a chemopreventive potential of licorice extract against liver oxidative injury.


AST; CCl4; antioxidant; licorice; liver; rat

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