Background: The Curcuma longa L. (CLL) rhizome has long been used to treat patients with hepatic dysfunction. CLL is a member of the ginger family of spices that are widely used in China, India, and Japan, and is a common spice, coloring, flavoring, and traditional medicine. This study was performed to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of CLL extract and its active component curcumin in an acute carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver stress model.
Methods: Acute hepatic stress was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 (0.1 ml/kg body weight) in rats. CLL extract was administered once a day for 3 days at three dose levels (100, 200, and 300 mg/kg/day) and curcumin was administered once a day at the 200 mg/kg/day. We performed alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). activity analysis and also measured total lipid, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels, and lipid peroxidation.
Results: At 100 g CLL, the curcuminoid components curcumin (901.63 ± 5.37 mg/100 g), bis-demethoxycurcumin (108.28 ± 2.89 mg/100 g), and demethoxycurcumin (234.85 ± 1.85 mg/100 g) were quantified through high liquid chromatography analysis. In CCl4-treated rats, serum AST and ALT levels increased 2.1- and 1.2-fold compared with the control. AST but not ALT elevation induced by CCl4 was significantly alleviated in CLL- and curcumin-treated rats. Peroxidation of membrane lipids in the liver was significantly prevented by CLL (100, 200, and 300 mg/kg/day) on tissue lipid peroxidation assay and immunostaining with anti-4HNE antibody. We found that CLL extract and curcumin exhibited significant protection against liver injury by improving hepatic superoxide dismutase (p < 0.05) and glutathione peroxidase activity, and glutathione content in the CCl4-treated group (p < 0.05), leading to a reduced lipid peroxidase level.
Conclusion: Our data suggested that CLL extract and curcumin protect the liver from acute CCl4-induced injury in a rodent model by suppressing hepatic oxidative stress. Therefore, CLL extract and curcumin are potential therapeutic antioxidant agents against acute hepatotoxicity.
Keywords: CLL extract; Curcumin; GSH; Hepatotoxicity; Lipid peroxidation.