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Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 May;67:65-71. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.02.013. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) reduces hepatocellular injury following liver ischaemia and reperfusion in mice.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
Department of Pathological Sciences, State University of Londrina, Londrina, PR, Brazil.
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:


Riboflavin has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the settings of experimental sepsis and ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. We investigated the effect of riboflavin on normothermic liver I/R injury. Mice were submitted to 60 min of ischaemia plus saline or riboflavin treatment (30 μmoles/kg BW) followed by 6 h of reperfusion. Hepatocellular injury was evaluated by aminotransferase levels, reduced glutathione (GSH) content and the histological damage score. Hepatic neutrophil accumulation was assessed using the naphthol method and by measuring myeloperoxidase activity. Hepatic oxidative/nitrosative stress was estimated by immunohistochemistry. Liver endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) amounts were assessed by immunoblotting and a chemiluminescence assay. Riboflavin significantly reduced serum and histological parameters of hepatocellular damage, neutrophil infiltration and oxidative/nitrosative stress. Furthermore, riboflavin infusion partially recovered hepatic GSH reserves and decreased the liver contents of eNOS/iNOS and NO. These data indicate that riboflavin exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the ischaemic liver, protecting hepatocytes against I/R injury. The mechanism of these effects appears to be related to the intrinsic antioxidant potential of riboflavin/dihydroriboflavin and to reduced hepatic expression of eNOS/iNOS and reduced NO levels, culminating in attenuation of oxidative/nitrosative stress and the acute inflammatory response.


Inflammation; Ischaemia/reperfusion; Nitric oxide; Oxidative stress; Riboflavin

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