Opuntia ficus indica extract protects against chlorpyrifos-induced damage on mice liver

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Feb;46(2):797-802. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.08.047. Epub 2007 Sep 14.


This original study investigates the role of Opuntia ficus indica (cactus) cladodes extract against liver damage induced in male SWISS mice by an organophosphorous insecticide, the chlorpyrifos (CPF). Liver damage was evaluated by the measure of its weight and the quantification of some biochemical parameters, such as alanine amino transferase (ALAT), aspartate amino transferase (ASAT), phosphatase alkaline (PAL), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), cholesterol and albumin in serum by spectrophotometric techniques. The experimental approach lasted 48 h and consisted of 6 treatments of six mice each one; (1) control, (2) 10 mg/kg (b.w) CPF, (3) 10mg/kg (b.w) CPF with 100 mg/kg (b.w) cactus, (4) 150 mg/kg (b.w)CPF, (5) 150 mg/kg (b.w) CPF with 1.5 g/kg cactus, (6) 1.5 g/kg cactus. Both chlorpyrifos and cactus were administrated orally via gavages. Our results showed that CPF affects significantly all parameters studied. However, when this pesticide was administrated associated to cactus, we noticed a recovery of all their levels. In the other hand, cactus alone did not affect the studied parameters. These results allow us to conclude firstly that CPF is hepatotoxic and secondly that Opuntia ficus indica stem extract protects the liver and decreases the toxicity induced by this organophosphorous pesticide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / enzymology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Chlorpyrifos / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Chlorpyrifos / toxicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Insecticides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Insecticides / toxicity
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Opuntia*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Insecticides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Chlorpyrifos