Resveratrol ameliorates methotrexate-induced hepatotoxicity in rats via inhibition of lipid peroxidation

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 Jun;32(6):662-71. doi: 10.1177/0960327112468178. Epub 2013 Feb 19.


Hepatotoxicity is one of the major complications of methotrexate (MTX) therapy. This study was carried out to evaluate the possible protective effect of resveratrol (trans-3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene, RVT) against MTX-induced hepatotoxicity. Rats were randomly divided into four groups as control, MTX treated (7 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally (i.p.), once daily for 3 consecutive days), MTX + RVT treated (20 mg/kg/day, i.p.), and RVT treated. First dose of RVT was administrated 3 days before the MTX injection and continued for 3 days. Histopathology of liver was evaluated by light microscopy. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were used as biochemical markers of MTX-induced hepatic injury. The levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS, a marker of lipid peroxidation) and activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) were used to analyze the oxidative stress-mediated lipid peroxidation in liver sections. Our results showed that MTX administration significantly increased ALT, ASP, and ALP levels. TBARS, CAT, and GST levels were also markedly increased in liver after MTX administration. RVT treatment significantly prevented MTX-induced hepatotoxicity, as indicated by AST, ALT, and ALP levels and liver histopathology. Moreover, administration of RVT significantly decreased the elevated levels of TBARS and activities of CAT and GST in the liver compared to MTX-treated group. These results revealed that RVT may have a protective effect against MTX-induced hepatotoxicity by inhibiting oxidative stress-mediated lipid peroxidation. Consequently, RVT treatment might be a promising strategy against MTX-induced hepatotoxicity.

Keywords: Resveratrol; hepatotoxicity; lipid peroxidation; methotrexate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalase
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / drug therapy*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / toxicity*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Stilbenes
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Resveratrol
  • Methotrexate