Milk thistle impedes the development of carbontetrachloride-induced liver damage in rats through suppression of bcl-2 and regulating caspase pathway

Life Sci. 2014 Nov 4;117(1):13-8. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.09.005. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Aim: The objective of this study was to examine whether MT plays a protective role against the damage in the liver by administering carbontetrachloride (CCl4) to rats.

Main method: 28 male Wistar albino (n=28, 8weeks old) rats have been used in the study. The rats were distributed into 4 groups according to their live weights. The groups were: (i) negative control (NC): normal water consuming group to which no CCl4 and milk thistle (MT) is administered; (ii) positive control (PC): normal water consuming group to which no CCl4 is administered but MT is administered; (iii) CCl4 group: normal water consuming and group to which CCl4 is administered (2ml/kg live weight, ip); and (iv) CCl4+MT group: CCl4 and MT administered group (2ml/kg live weight, ip). Caspase-3, caspase-9, bax, and bcl-2 protein syntheses were examined via western blotting. MDA determination in liver tissue was made using spectrophotometer.

Key findings: MDA amount has decreased in the CCl4+MT group in comparison to CCl4 group whereas caspase-3 and caspase-9 has increased and bax and bcl-2 has decreased.

Significance: These results show that MT protects the liver against oxidative damage.

Keywords: Bax; Bcl-2; Caspase-3; Caspase-9; Liver damage; Milk thistle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carbon Tetrachloride / toxicity*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Caspase 9 / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Milk Thistle / chemistry*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 9