Author(s): Saravanan R, Viswanathan P, Pugalendi KV
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Abstract Ursolic acid is a triterpenoid that exists in nature and is the major component of some traditional medicinal herbs. In this study, ursolic acid has been evaluated for its hepatoprotective effect against chronic ethanol-mediated toxicity in rats. Ethanol administration (7.9 g/kg/day) for 60 days resulted in increased oxidative stress, decreased antioxidant defense and liver injury. It also negatively affected the serum total protein, albumin and A/G ratio. Subsequent to the experimental induction of toxicity (i.e. after the initial period of 30 days) ursolic acid treatment performed by co-administering ursolic acid (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg body weight) for 30 days along with the daily dose of ethanol. While this treatment causing a significant improvement in body weight, food intake and serum protein levels, it decreases serum aminotransferase activities (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase) and total bilirubin levels. Ursolic acid improved the antioxidant status of alcoholic rats, which is evaluated by the decreased levels of lipid peroxidation markers in plasma (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and lipid hydroperoxides) and increased levels of circulatory antioxidants such as reduced glutathione, ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol. Histopathological observations were also in correlation with the biochemical parameters. The activity of ursolic acid (20 mg/kg) compares well with silymarin, a known hepatoprotective drug, and seems to be better in certain parameters. The protective effect of ursolic acid is probably related to its antioxidant activities.
This article was published in Life Sci
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology