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      Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of standardized herbal extracts

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          Phyllanthus emblica, Camellia sinensis, Mangifera indica, Punica granatum, and Acacia catechu have been shown to possess widespread pharmacological application against multitude of diseases namely cancer, diabetes, liver disorders, and oxidative stress.


          We evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of the standardized herbal extracts against tert-butyl hydroperoxide ( t-BH) induced toxicity and their mechanism of hepatoprotective action in human hepatocarcinoma cells (HepG2 cell line).

          Materials and Methods:

          The hepatoprotective activity was studied by observing the effect of these herbal extracts on t-BH induced reduction in cell viability of HepG2 cells. In addition, the reducing power of the extracts and their ability to scavenge free radicals were evaluated using two antioxidant assay systems: cell free [oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and [2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonicacid)] (ABTS)] and cell based [cellular antioxidant activity (CAA)].

          Results and Discussion:

          The results obtained showed that these extracts possess significant hepatoprotective activity. This may indicate that the plant extracts contain compounds, which can remove toxic metabolites following t-BH induced toxicity. The extracts exhibited significant antioxidant property as evident by the Trolox values and effective scavenging of DPPH and ABTS radicals. The extracts also demonstrated inhibition of AAPH-induced fluorescence in HepG2 cells. These results indicate the ability of the plant extracts to protect the liver cells from chemical-induced damage, which might be correlated to their radical scavenging potential.


          This study demonstrates that these extracts have potential hepatoprotective activity which is mainly attributed to the antioxidant potential, which might occur by reduction of lipid peroxidation and cellular damage.

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          Most cited references 65

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          Mechanisms of hepatotoxicity.

           H Jaeschke (2002)
          This review addresses recent advances in specific mechanisms of hepatotoxicity. Because of its unique metabolism and relationship to the gastrointestinal tract, the liver is an important target of the toxicity of drugs, xenobiotics, and oxidative stress. In cholestatic disease, endogenously generated bile acids produce hepatocellular apoptosis by stimulating Fas translocation from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane where self-aggregation occurs to trigger apoptosis. Kupffer cell activation and neutrophil infiltration extend toxic injury. Kupffer cells release reactive oxygen species (ROS), cytokines, and chemokines, which induce neutrophil extravasation and activation. The liver expresses many cytochrome P450 isoforms, including ethanol-induced CYP2E1. CYP2E1 generates ROS, activates many toxicologically important substrates, and may be the central pathway by which ethanol causes oxidative stress. In acetaminophen toxicity, nitric oxide (NO) scavenges superoxide to produce peroxynitrite, which then causes protein nitration and tissue injury. In inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) knockout mice, nitration is prevented, but unscavenged superoxide production then causes toxic lipid peroxidation to occur instead. Microvesicular steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and cytolytic hepatitis involve mitochondrial dysfunction, including impairment of mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation, inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, and damage to mitochondrial DNA. Induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) is another mechanism causing mitochondrial failure, which can lead to necrosis from ATP depletion or caspase-dependent apoptosis if ATP depletion does not occur fully. Because of such diverse mechanisms, hepatotoxicity remains a major reason for drug withdrawal from pharmaceutical development and clinical use.
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            Cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for assessing antioxidants, foods, and dietary supplements.

             Mary K Wolfe,  R. Liu (2007)
            A cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for quantifying the antioxidant activity of phytochemicals, food extracts, and dietary supplements has been developed. Dichlorofluorescin is a probe that is trapped within cells and is easily oxidized to fluorescent dichlorofluorescein (DCF). The method measures the ability of compounds to prevent the formation of DCF by 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (ABAP)-generated peroxyl radicals in human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells. The decrease in cellular fluorescence when compared to the control cells indicates the antioxidant capacity of the compounds. The antioxidant activities of selected phytochemicals and fruit extracts were evaluated using the CAA assay, and the results were expressed in micromoles of quercetin equivalents per 100 micromol of phytochemical or micromoles of quercetin equivalents per 100 g of fresh fruit. Quercetin had the highest CAA value, followed by kaempferol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), myricetin, and luteolin among the pure compounds tested. Among the selected fruits tested, blueberry had the highest CAA value, followed by cranberry > apple = red grape > green grape. The CAA assay is a more biologically relevant method than the popular chemistry antioxidant activity assays because it accounts for some aspects of uptake, metabolism, and location of antioxidant compounds within cells.
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              Extending applicability of the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC-fluorescein) assay.

              The ORAC-fluorescein (ORAC-FL) method recently validated using automatic liquid handling systems has now been adapted to manual handling and using a conventional fluorescence microplate reader. As calculated for Trolox, the precision of the method was <3.0, expressed as percent coefficient of variation. The accuracy of the method was <2.3, expressed as percent variation of the mean. The detection and quantification limits were those corresponding to 0.5- and 1-microM Trolox standard solutions, respectively. The method has been applied to 10 pure compounds (benzoic and cinnamic acids and aldehydes, flavonoids, and butylated hydroxyanisole), to 30 white, rose, and bottled- and oak-aged red wines, and to 7 commercial dietary antioxidant supplements. All samples exhibited a good linear response with concentration. As seen by other methodologies, the chemical structure of a compound determines its antioxidant activity (ORAC-FL value). Of particular interest were the results with oak-aged red wines from different vintages (1989-2002) that confirm influence of vintage, but not origin of the oak, in the antioxidant activity of wines from the same variety. Dietary antioxidant supplements presented a great variability (170-fold difference) in their antioxidant potency. This work proves applicability of the ORAC-FL assay in evaluating the antioxidant activity of diverse food samples.

                Author and article information

                Pharmacogn Mag
                Pharmacogn Mag
                Pharmacognosy Magazine
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Apr-Jun 2012
                : 8
                : 30
                : 116-123
                R and D Centre, Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. C.V. Chandrasekaran, Plot No. 5B, Veerasandra Indl. Area, 19 th K. M. Stone, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560 100, Karnataka, India. E-mail: cvc@ 123456naturalremedy.com
                Copyright: © Pharmacognosy Magazine

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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