Background: Beta-glucans are known as macrophage stimulators and antioxidants. This study aimed to investigate the effects of beta-glucans on oxidative damage to the liver during obstructive jaundice.
Methods: Sham, control and treatment groups (7 Wistar Albino rats in each) were designed. In the treatment group, beta-glucan was given through gavages for 10 days after bile duct ligation. All groups were sacrificed on the 11th day. Liver function tests, superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO), malondialdehyde (MDA), lipid peroxide (LPO), glutathione (GSH), and histopathological examination of the liver were investigated.
Results: In the treatment group, the levels of alanine and aspartate aminotransferases (AST, ALT), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), total and direct bilirubin, MPO in the serum, and the levels of MDA and LPO in the liver tissue were significantly lower when compared with the control group. Moreover, SOD and GSH levels were relevantly high in the treatment group. Histopathological examination of the liver revealed less damage in the treatment group.
Conclusion: These results show that beta-glucan induced the phagocytic and anti-oxidative effects and also reduced the liver damage and oxidative stress in obstructive jaundice. Advanced studies are required for the clinical use of beta-glucan in obstructive jaundice.