Preventive and curative effects of Acalypha indica on acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity

M. Mathew, C. Nair, T. Shenoy, J. Varghese


Effect of ethanol extract of the leaves of Acalypha indica (Euphorbiaceae) was investigated against acetaminophen-induced hepatic damage. Acetaminophen (paracetamol) at the rate of 1 g/kg produced liver damage in rats as manifested by the significant (P<0.001) rise in serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), compared to respective control values. Treatment of rats with acetaminophen led to a marked increase in lipid peroxidation as measured by malondialdehyde (MDA). This was associated with a significant reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH)
contents. Pretreatment of animals with the plant extract (100 mg/kg) orally once daily for 5 days prevented (P<0.01) the acetaminopheninduced rise in serum transaminases (AST and ALT) and ALP. Post treatment with five successive doses of the extract (100 mg/kg) restricted the hepatic damage induced by the above said Paracetamol (P<0.001). Histological changes around the hepatic central vein were recovered by administration of the drug. Thus, it is evident that these biochemical and histological alterations resulting from acetaminophen administration were inhibited by pre and post treatment with A. indica leaf extract. One notable study of the study was the spontaneous recovery of liver damage within a week after stopping paracetamol. These results indicate that the crude
ethanol extract of A. indica exhibits hepatoprotective action through antioxidant effect and validates the traditional use of the plant in hepatic dysfunction.
Key words: Acalypha indica, acetaminophen, hepatotoxins, transaminases

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