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Research Article Open Access
Paracetamol has a reasonable safety profile when taken in therapeutic doses. However, it could induce hepatotoxicity and even more severe fatal acute hepatic damage when taken in an overdose. The green alga, Dunaliella salina was investigated for hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity against paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats. Male albino Wistar rats overdosed with paracetamol showed liver damage and oxidative stress as indicated by significantly (P<0.05) increased serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, total and direct bilirubin, malondialdehyde, cholesterol and nitric oxide. At the same time, there were decreased activities of serum superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capacity compared with the control group. Treatment with D. salina methanol extract at doses of 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight or silymarin could significantly (P<0.05) decrease the liver damage marker enzymes, total and direct bilirubin, malondialdehyde, cholesterol and nitric oxide levels and increase the activities of superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capacity in serum when compared with paracetamol intoxicated group. Liver histopathology also showed that D. salina reduced the centrilobular necrosis, congestion and inflammatory cell infiltration evoked by paracetamol overdose. These results suggest that D. salina exhibits a potent hepatoprotective effect on paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats, which may be due to both the increase of antioxidant enzymes activity and inhibition of lipid peroxidation.
Dunaliella salina, paracetamol, hepatotoxicity, antioxidant, reactive oxygen species