Hepatoprotective effect of Taraxacum officinale leaf extract on sodium dichromate-induced liver injury in rats

Environ Toxicol. 2016 Mar;31(3):339-49. doi: 10.1002/tox.22048. Epub 2014 Oct 1.


Taraxacum officinale (L.) Weber, commonly known as Dandelion, has been widely used as a folkloric medicine for the treatment of liver and kidney disorders and some women diseases such as breast and uterus cancers. The main objective of the present study was to assess the efficiency of T. officinale leaf extract (TOE) in treating sodium dichromate hazards; it is a major environmental pollutant known for its wide toxic manifestations witch induced liver injury. TOE at a dose of 500 mg/kg b.w was orally administered once per day for 30 days consecutively, followed by 10 mg/kg b.w sodium dichromate was injected (intraperitoneal) for 10 days. Our results using Wistar rats showed that sodium dichromate significantly increased serum biochemical parameters. In the liver, it was found to induce an oxidative stress, evidenced from increase in lipid peroxidation and changes in antioxidative activities. In addition, histopathological observation revealed that sodium dichromate causes acute liver damage, necrosis of hepatocytes, as well as DNA fragmentation. Interestingly, animals that were pretreated with TOE, prior to sodium dichromate administration, showed a significant hepatoprotection, revealed by a significant reduction of sodium dichromate-induced oxidative damage for all tested markers. These finding powerfully supports that TOE was effective in the protection against sodium dichromate-induced hepatotoxicity and genotoxicity and, therefore, suggest a potential therapeutic use of this plant as an alternative medicine for patients with acute liver diseases.

Keywords: Taraxacum officinale; antioxidant enzymes; in vivo; liver; sodium dichromate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Chromates / toxicity*
  • Cytoprotection / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Taraxacum / chemistry*


  • Chromates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • sodium bichromate