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Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2012;5:129-37. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S29308. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Evaluation of protective effect of Sapindus mukorossi saponin fraction on CCl(4)-induced acute hepatotoxicity in rats.

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Nizam Institute of Pharmacy, Andhra Pradesh.



This investigation aimed to assess the hepatoprotective effect of saponin fraction isolated from the fruit pericarp of Sapindus mukorossi on carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced hepatotoxicity.


Fruit of S. mukorossi was collected and authenticated, and dried pericarp powder subjected to extraction with cold ethanol (70%) by maceration followed by isolation of total saponin fraction. Hepatoprotective activity was demonstrated in the CCl(4)-damaged primary monolayer culture. In in vivo studies, pretreatment with total saponin fraction (50,100 and 150 mg/kg per os once a day for 4 days before CCl(4) introduction and continued afterward for 3 days) attenuated the CCl(4)-induced acute increase in serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase activities and considerably reduced histopathological alterations. Further, saponin fraction reduced thiopentone-induced (4 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) sleeping time in rats.


Saponin fraction pretreatment improves bromsulphalein clearance and also increases cellular viability. Saponin administration replenished depleted hepatic glutathione and superoxide dismutase by improving the antioxidant status of the liver and liver function enzymes. These effects substantiate protection of cellular phospholipids from peroxidative damage induced by highly reactive toxic intermediate radicals formed during biotransformation of CCl(4).


The above findings lead to the conclusion that the saponin fraction of S. mukorossi has a protective capability both in vitro on primary hepatocyte cultures and in vivo in a rat model of CCl(4)-mediated liver injury. Hence, we suggest that the inclusion of this S. mukorossi fruit pericarp in the management of liver disorders is justified.


Sapindus mukorossi; hepatoprotective; total saponin content

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