Effects of Embelin on Lipid Peroxidation and Free Radical Scavenging Activity against Liver Damage in Rats


Author for correspondence: Dr. R. S. Gupta, TR – 03, Teacher's Hostel, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur 302 055, India (fax + 91 141 2701137, e-mail gupta_rs@hotmail.com).


Abstract: The study aimed to evaluate the hepatic antioxidant capacity of embelin (from Embelia ribes) using different antioxidant tests, free radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation in albino rats. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) treatment to rats has been more susceptible to peroxidative damage through production of reactive metabolites, namely trichloromethyl-free radicals (CCl?3 and/or CCl3OO?) as measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive species. After the induction of liver damage by CCl4 intoxication to rats, the concentration of lipid peroxidation was significantly (P ≤ 0.001) higher in liver and serum, along with concomitant decrease in the levels of antioxidants and cytochrome P450 enzyme in liver as compared to vehicle controls. The activities of marker enzymes – transaminases (AST, ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) – along with the total bilirubin and total protein levels were altered significantly (P ≤ 0.001) in the serum of CCl4-treated rats. When these rats received embelin orally (25 mg/kg) from day 1 to day 15, peroxidative damage was minimal in both liver and serum along with effectively inducing the antioxidant potential in CCl4-treated rats. The biochemical results were compared with the standard drug silymarin – a combination of flavonolignans of Silybum marianum and histology of liver sections. In conclusion, this study suggests that embelin acts as a natural antioxidant against hepatotoxicity induced in rats.