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Open Access Research article

Aloe vera attenuated liver injury in mice with acetaminophen-induced hepatitis

Duangporn Werawatganon1*, Sittikorn Linlawan2, Kessarin Thanapirom2, Kanjana Somanawat1, Naruemon Klaikeaw3, Rungsun Rerknimitr2 and Prasong Siriviriyakul1

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

2 GI Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:229  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-229

Published: 8 July 2014

Abstract

Background

An overdose of the acetaminophen causes liver injury. This study aims to examine the anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory effects of Aloe vera in mice with acetaminophen induced hepatitis.

Methods

Male mice were randomly divided into three groups (n = 8 each). Control group were given orally distilled water (DW). APAP group were given orally N-acetyl-P-aminophenol (APAP) 400 mg/kg suspended in DW. Aloe vera-treated group were given orally APAP and Aloe vera (150 mg/kg) suspended in DW. Twenty-four hours later, the liver was removed to determine hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA), hepatic glutathione (GSH), the number of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 positive stained cells (%) by immunohistochemistry method, and histopathological examination. Then, the serum was collected to determine transaminase (ALT).

Results

In APAP group, ALT, hepatic MDA and the number of IL-12 and IL-18 positive stained cells were significantly increased when compared to control group (1210.50 ± 533.86 vs 85.28 ± 28.27 U/L, 3.60 ± 1.50 vs 1.38 ± 0.15 nmol/mg protein, 12.18 ± 1.10 vs 1.84 ± 1.29%, and 13.26 ± 0.90 vs 2.54 ± 1.29%, P = 0.000, respectively), whereas hepatic GSH was significantly decreased when compared to control group (5.98 ± 0.30 vs 11.65 ± 0.43 nmol/mg protein, P = 0.000). The mean level of ALT, hepatic MDA, the number of IL-12 and IL-18 positive stained cells, and hepatic GSH in Aloe vera-treated group were improved as compared with APAP group (606.38 ± 495.45 vs 1210.50 ± 533.86 U/L, P = 0.024; 1.49 ± 0.64 vs 3.60 ± 1.50 nmol/mg protein, P = 0.001; 5.56 ± 1.25 vs 12.18 ± 1.10%, P = 0.000; 6.23 ± 0.94 vs 13.26 ± 0.90%, P = 0.000; and 10.02 ± 0.20 vs 5.98 ± 0.30 nmol/mg protein, P = 0.000, respectively). Moreover, in the APAP group, the liver showed extensive hemorrhagic hepatic necrosis at all zones while in Aloe vera-treated group, the liver architecture was improved histopathology.

Conclusions

APAP overdose can cause liver injury. Our result indicate that Aloe vera attenuate APAP-induced hepatitis through the improvement of liver histopathology by decreased oxidative stress, reduced liver injury, and restored hepatic GSH.

Keywords:
Aloe vera; Liver injury; Serum transaminases; MDA; GSH; Interleukin