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Gastroenterology. 1995 Dec;109(6):1941-9.

Antioxidant activity of silybin in vivo during long-term iron overload in rats.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, University of Modena, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Hepatic iron toxicity may be mediated by free radical species and lipid peroxidation of biological membranes. The antioxidant property of silybin, a main constituent of natural flavonoids, was investigated in vivo during experimental iron overload.

METHODS:

Rats were fed a 2.5% carbonyl-iron diet and 100 mg.kg body wt-1.day-1 silybin for 4 months and were assayed for accumulation of hepatic lipid peroxidation by-products by immunocytochemistry, mitochondrial energy-dependent functions, and mitochondrial malondialdehyde content.

RESULTS:

Iron overload caused a dramatic accumulation of malondialdehyde-protein adducts into iron-filled periportal hepatocytes that was decreased appreciably by silybin treatment. The same beneficial effect of silybin was found on the iron-induced accumulation of malondialdehyde in mitochondria. As to the liver functional efficiency, mitochondrial energy wasting and tissue adenosine triphosphate depletion induced by iron overload were successfully counteracted by silybin.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral administration of silybin protects against iron-induced hepatic toxicity in vivo. This effect seems to be caused by the prominent antioxidant activity of this compound.

PMID:
7498660
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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