Leaf powder supplementation of Senna alexandrina ameliorates oxidative stress, inflammation, and hepatic steatosis in high-fat diet-fed obese rats

PLoS One. 2021 Apr 20;16(4):e0250261. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250261. eCollection 2021.


Obesity is an enduring medical issue that has raised concerns around the world. Natural plant extracts have shown therapeutic potential in preventing oxidative stress and inflammation related to obesity complications. In this study, Senna alexandrina Mill. leaves were utilized to treat high-fat diet-related metabolic disorders and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. Plasma biochemical assays were conducted to determine the lipid profiles and oxidative stress parameters, and the gene expression of antioxidant enzymes and inflammatory mediators was measured. Histological stained livers of high-fat diet-fed rats were observed. S. alexandrina leaf powder supplementation prevented the increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in high-fat diet-fed rats. Moreover, S. alexandrina leaves also reduced lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide production in these rats. Prevention of oxidative stress by S. alexandrina leaf supplementation in high-fat diet-fed rats is regulated by enhancing the antioxidant enzyme activity, followed by the restoration of corresponding gene expressions, such as NRF-2, HO-1, SOD, and CAT. Histological staining provides further evidence that S. alexandrina leaf supplementation prevents inflammatory cell infiltration, lipid droplet deposition, and fibrosis in the liver of high-fat diet-fed rats. Furthermore, this investigation revealed that S. alexandrina leaf supplementation controlled non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by modulating the expression of fat metabolizing enzymes in high-fat diet-fed rats. Therefore, S. alexandrina leaf supplementation inhibits fatty liver inflammation and fibrosis, suggesting its usefulness in treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Thus, this natural leaf extract has potential in treatment of obesity related liver dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Fatty Liver / diet therapy*
  • Fatty Liver / etiology
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / metabolism
  • Lipid Droplets / drug effects
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Powders / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Senna Plant / chemistry*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Nfe2l2 protein, rat
  • Powders
  • Triglycerides
  • Catalase
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Hmox1 protein, rat
  • Superoxide Dismutase

Grants and funding

This research is supported by a Special Allocation Grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh to Dr. Md Ashraful Alam in 2019.