Introduction: Homeopathic Lycopodium clavatum is indicated for disorders of the digestive system and its accessory organs, including atony of the liver and liver tissue failure. Tis suggests that it may have action on drug-induced hepatitis, as occurs in paracetamol overdose.
Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of Lycopodium clavatum 30C (Lyc) as a hepatoprotector against liver damage experimentally induced by paracetamol (Pct) in Wistar rats.
Methodology: Thirty animals subdivided into 6 groups were used. Animals from the treated groups were pretreated for 8 days with Lyc 30c (0.25 ml/day), receiving a dose of 3 g/kg of Pct on the 8th day. A positive control group received similar treatment, replacing Lyc 30c with 30% ethanol and a negative control received only 30% ethanol. After 24 and 72 h, the animals were sacrificed for tissue and blood sample collection. Subsequently, enzyme serum measurements indicative of liver damage (aspartate-aminotransferase (AST) and Alanine-aminotransferase (ALT)) and liver histological and morphometric analyses were performed.
Results: Pretreatment with Lyc 30c reduced hepatic lesions produced by Pct overdose as evidenced by a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in ALT levels in the LyP 24h-group (901.04 ± 92.05 U/l) compared to the respective control group (1866.28 ± 585.44 U/l), promoted a significant decrease in the number of acinar zone 1 affected by necrosis and inflammatory infiltration (15.46 ± 13.86 clr/cm(2) in LyP72 for 73.75 ± 16.60 clr/cm(2) in PC72), and inhibition of 1,2-glycol (glycogen) depletion in zone 3 (a significant reduction in Lyc 72 h group animals in comparison to the control group). Significant changes concerning the development of fibrosis or alterations in transaminase levels were not observed after 72 h.
Conclusion: Lyc 30c exerted a moderate hepatoprotective effect on acute Pct-induced hepatitis, mainly shown by a histological decrease in necrosis and inflammatory foci, preserved glycogen and other 1,2-glycols in zone 3 and reduced serum levels of ALT and AST.
Keywords: Hepatotoxicity; Lycopodium; Morphometry; Paracetamol.
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