The protective effect of Citrus limon essential oil on hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity induced by aspirin in rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Oct:83:1327-1334. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.08.037. Epub 2016 Aug 27.


Citrus limon is a member of the large Rutaceae family characterized by its therapeutic proprieties and has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases. This study investigates the protective effect of Citrus limon essential oil against a high dose of aspirin-induced acute liver and kidney damage in female Wistar albino rats. Twenty-eight adult female Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups of 7 each: (1) a control group; (2) a group of rats which was kept untreated for 56days then treated with aspirin (A) (600mg/kg) for 4 days; (3) a group fed with essential oil of Citrus limon for 56days then (A) for 4 days; and (4) a group of rats receiving essential oil of Citrus limon for 56 days, then given NaCl for 4 days. Estimations of biochemical parameters in blood were determined. Lipid peroxidation levels (TBARS), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidas (GPx) activities in liver and kidney was determined. A histopathological study was done. Under our experimental conditions, aspirin induced an increase of serum biochemical parameters and it resulted in an oxidative stress in both liver and kidney. This was evidenced by significant increase in TBARS in liver and kidney by 108% and 55%, respectively, compared to control. On the other hand, a decrease in the activities of SOD by 78% and 53%, CAT by 53% and 78%, and GPx by 78% and 51% in liver and kidney, respectively. Administration of EOC to rats attenuated the induced an effect of the high dose of aspirin induced in the afore mentioned serum biochemical parameters. In conclusion, our data suggest that treatment with essential oil of Citrus limon prevented the liver and kidney damage induced by aspirin.

Keywords: Aspirin; Citrus limon; Kidney; Liver; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / toxicity
  • Aspirin / toxicity*
  • Citrus*
  • Female
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Leaves
  • Protective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Protective Agents
  • Aspirin