Context: Smilax zeylanica L.(Smilacaceae) is a climbing shrub with woody prickly stems.
Objective: This study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of S. zeylanica against paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar rats.
Materials and methods: The protective effects of the methanol extract (200 and 400 mg/kg) of root and rhizome of S. zeylanica were studied on paracetamol induced (1 g/kg) hepatic damage in Wistar rats by estimating the serum levels of AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total proteins, total bilirubin and albumin. Sections of liver were observed for histopathological changes in liver architecture.
Results: Rats were protected from the hepatotoxic action of paracetamol as evidenced by the significant reduction in the elevated serum levels of ALT (P<0.001), AST (P< 0.01, P< 0.001), ALP (P<0.05, P< 0.001), total bilirubin (P< 0.05) and an increased level of total protein (P< 0.05) and albumin (P< 0.05, P<0.01) with a significant reduction in liver weight (P<0.001), when compared with the paracetamol control. Silymarin (100 mg/kg) was used as the standard.
Discussion and conclusion: The biochemical observations were supplemented by the histopathological studies on the liver sections of different groups. The methanol extract of S. zeylanica was found to alter the damage caused to hepatocytes by paracetamol and prevent the leakage of vital serum markers, which confirmed the hepatoprotective effect of this plant.