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Biofactors. 2015 Mar-Apr;41(2):90-100. doi: 10.1002/biof.1203. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Caffeic acid, a phyto polyphenol mitigates fluoride induced hepatotoxicity in rats: A possible mechanism.

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Molecular Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, 641 046, India.


Fluoride induced hepatotoxicity has been extensively studied in both humans and animals. However, the mechanism underlying in the hepatotoxicity of experimental fluorosis remains obscure. The severity of fluoride toxicity was reduced by oral administration of certain plant derived antioxidants. Caffeic acid (CA) a polyphenolic compound has diverse range of pharmacological activity in the biological system. Therefore, the present study was aimed to investigate the protective mechanism of CA, against fluoride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The rats were treated with 300 ppm of NaF via drinking water ad libitum alone and in combination with CA at a dose of 50 mg/kg daily for 30 days by oral intubation. CA treatment significantly prevented fluoride induced hepatic damage as evident from the histopathological studies and declined levels of serum fluoride and liver marker enzymes. A significant decrease in the levels of enzymatic (SOD2, CAT, GPx, and GSTpi class) and nonenzymatic (GSH and Vitamin C) antioxidants along with increased ROS, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl content, and nitrate levels by fluoride were also prevented in these groups. In addition, CA inhibits fluoride induced apoptosis by altering the Bax and caspase-3p20 expressions. Further, fluoride induced upregulation of Nox4, p38α MAPK, Hsp60, and downregulation of Hsp27 are the indicators for the detection of oxidative damage, apoptosis, and mitochondrial stress was also modulated by CA. These findings reveal that CA supplementation has a protective effect against fluoride induced hepatotoxicity in rats.


Nox4; apoptosis; caffeic acid; fluoride; heat shock proteins; hepatotoxicity

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