Protective role of Punica granatum (pomegranate) peel and seed oil extracts on diethylnitrosamine and phenobarbital-induced hepatic injury in male rats

Food Chem. 2013 Dec 1;141(3):1587-96. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.04.134. Epub 2013 May 23.


The present study is an attempt to reveal the protective role of Punica granatum peel and seed oil extracts against diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and phenobarbital (PB) induced hepatic injury in rats. DEN administration increased the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 and glutathione reductase (GSR) activities, while the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and total glutathione peroxidase (t-GPx) were decreased compared with the control. Treatment with peel and seed oil extracts pre, during and post DEN administration improved liver functions, decreased the levels of MDA, DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 and GSR activities with an elevation in levels of GSH, SOD, GST and t-GPx activities. This indicates that these extracts reduced the oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by DEN. Also the effect of administration of PE and SOE separately for a long time (23 weeks) on healthy rats was studied.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Apoptosis; Caspase-3; DNA fragmentation; Diethylnitrosoamine; Hepatic injury; Lipid peroxidation; Pomegranate.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / drug therapy
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / genetics
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Diethylnitrosamine / adverse effects
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / injuries
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phenobarbital / adverse effects
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Plant Oils
  • Protective Agents
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Caspase 3
  • Glutathione
  • Phenobarbital