The main active ingredients of Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice (AMFJ) are phenolic substances, mainly flavonoids from the anthocyanin subclass.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AMFJ applied as pretreatment in a model of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Material and methods: AMFJ was given orally to rats for 2 days at doses of 5, 10 and 20 ml/kg either alone or as pretreatment before the oral application of CCl4 (0.2 ml/kg, 2 days). The plasma activities of aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were measured as markers of the liver cell damage. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a lipid peroxidation marker, were determined in rat liver and plasma.
Results: Administration of CCl4 caused an elevation of plasma AST and ALT activities. It also induced an elevation of MDA levels in rat liver and plasma. AMFJ applied alone in the tested doses did not cause any significant changes in the measured enzyme activities and in MDA levels. AMFJ applied as pretreatment prevented the CCl4-induced increase of AST and ALT activities, and also prevented the elevation of plasma and liver MDA levels.
Conclusions: AMFJ showed a protective effect in a model of CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. This effect might be due to the antioxidant activity of its active ingredients.