Protective effect of date palm fruit extract (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on dimethoate induced-oxidative stress in rat liver

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2011 Jul;63(5):433-41. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Mar 31.


Nowadays, people's exposure to chemical compounds such as organophosphorus insecticides is continuously on the rise more and more. Theses compounds have induced an excessive production of free radicals which are responsible for several cell alterations in the organism. Recent investigations have proved the crucial role of nutritional antioxidants to prevent the damage caused by toxic compounds. In this study, we investigate the role of date palm fruit extract (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in protection against oxidative damage and hepatotoxicity induced by subchronic exposure to dimethoate (20mg/kg/day). Oral administration of dimethoate caused hepatotoxicity as monitored by the increase in the levels of hepatic markers enzymes (transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase and lactate dehydrogenase), as well as in hepatic malondialdehyde thus causing drastic alteration in antioxidant defence system. Particularly, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were found increased by dimethoate while catalase (CAT) activity was reduced significantly. These biochemical alterations were accompanied by histological changes marked by appearance of vacuolization, necrosis, congestion, inflammation, and enlargement of sinusoids in liver section. Pretreatment with date palm fruit extract restored the liver damage induced by dimethoate, as revealed by inhibition of hepatic lipid peroxidation, amelioration of SOD, GPx and CAT activities and improvement of histopathology changes. The present findings indicate that in vivo date palm fruit may be useful for the prevention of oxidative stress induced hepatotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Arecaceae / chemistry*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / enzymology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control
  • Dimethoate / toxicity*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Dimethoate