Celery (Apium graveolens) is traditionally used to treat rheumatism and cardiovascular disorders. Hyperuricemia is considered as a predisposing factor for gout and is also suggested to be associated with coronary artery disease. In the present study, the effect of hydroalcoholic extracts from A. graveolens (AGE) against potassium oxonate (PO)-induced hyperuricemia was investigated in mice. AGE (250, 500, and 1,000 mg/kg) or allopurinol (5 mg/kg, as positive control) were orally administrated 1 h after PO injection (250 mg/kg, ip) for two weeks. After that, the serum uric acid level and hepatic xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) and xanthine oxidase (XO) activities were measured. In addition, the antioxidant activity of AGE was determined by assessment of hepatic lipid peroxidation, in vivo and the ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay, in vitro. The extract exhibited good capacity to reduce ferric ion to ferrous ion with mean value of 63.8±8.5 μmol/g. The data also showed that oxonate treatment produced a significant increase in serum uric acid level (4.6 vs. 2.3 mg/ dL, P<0.001), liver XO/XDH activities (P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively), and hepatic lipid peroxides levels (about two fold, P<0.01), compared to the healthy mice. AGE significantly decreased the serum uric acid level, hepatic XO/XDH activities, and lipid peroxidation, in a dose-dependent manner. Oral administration of 1,000 mg/kg AGE for two weeks reversed the elevated serum uric acid level (2.7 vs. 4.6 mg/dL, P<0.001) and significantly inhibited liver XO/XDH activities (P<0.001) and diminished hepatic lipid peroxidation (0.45 vs. 0.82 nmol/mg protein, P<0.05), compared with hyperuricemic mice. AGE (1,000 mg/kg) per se did not significantly modify these parameters. Our results demonstrated that AGE could reduce the serum uric acid level via inhibition of hepatic XDH/XO and indicated its potential utility as an effective hypouricemic bioactive agent or functional food.
Keywords: Apium graveolens; hyperuricemia; hypouricemic agent; xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH); xanthine oxidase (XO).