Oral administration of thymoquinone mitigates the effect of cisplatin on brush border membrane enzymes, energy metabolism and antioxidant system in rat intestine

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Oct;94:1111-1120. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.08.044. Epub 2017 Aug 16.


Cisplatin (CP) is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent that elicits severe gastrointestinal toxicity. Nigella sativa, a member of family Ranunculaceae, is one of the most revered medicinal plant known for its numerous health benefits. Thymoquinone (TQ), a major bioactive component derived from the volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, has been shown to improve gastrointestinal functions in animal models of acute gastric/intestinal injury. In view of this, the aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of TQ on CP induced toxicity in rat intestine and to elucidate the mechanism underlying these effects. Rats were divided into four groups viz. control, CP, TQ and CP+TQ. Animals in CP+TQ and TQ groups were orally administered TQ (1.5mg/kg bwt) with and without a single intraperitoneal dose of CP (6mg/kg bwt) respectively. The effect of TQ was determined on CP induced alterations in the activities of brush border membrane (BBM), carbohydrate metabolism, and antioxidant defense enzymes in rat intestine. TQ administration significantly mitigated CP induced decline in the specific activities of BBM marker enzymes, both in the mucosal homogenates and in the BBM vesicles (BBMV) prepared from intestinal mucosa. Furthermore, TQ administration restored the redox and metabolic status of intestinal mucosal tissue in CP treated rats. The biochemical results were supported by histopathological findings that showed extensive damage to intestine in CP treated rats and markedly preserved intestinal histoarchitecture in CP and TQ co-treated group. The biochemical and histological data suggest a protective effect of TQ against CP-induced gastrointestinal damage. Thus, TQ may have a potential for clinical application to counteract the accompanying gastrointestinal toxicity in CP chemotherapy.

Keywords: Antioxidant system; Brush border membrane; Carbohydrate metabolism; Cisplatin; Gastrointestinal damage; Thymoquinone.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Benzoquinones
  • thymoquinone
  • Cisplatin