Hepatoprotective potential of crocin and curcumin against iron overload-induced biochemical alterations in rat.


Shohda A. EL-Maraghy, Sherine M. Rizk and Maha M. El-Sawalhi*

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the possible ameliorating effect of crocin and curcumin on certain biochemical alterations associated with iron overload-induced liver injury in rats. 5 groups of rats were used, a normal control group received daily i.p. injections of saline and 4 groups received daily i.p. injections of ferric nitrilotriacetate (FeNTA) for 8 successive days, the dose of iron was increased during the experimental period (from 6 to 15 mg Fe/kg). The first iron overloaded group kept without further treatment and served as a positive control group. The second iron overloaded group received daily i.p injections of crocin (200 mg/kg) in saline. The 3rd and the 4th iron overloaded groups received orally either 0.5% carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) or curcumin (100 mg/kg) in CMC respectively. Treatment started 3 days before and concurrently with iron administration for 8 days. Results revealed that iron- induced liver injury was reflected by significant changes in the liver function indices, hyperammonemia and reduced serum urea level. A significant deposition of iron in liver was associated with enhanced oxidative and nitrosative stress status. Moreover, iron overloaded rats exhibited significant alterations in liver energy metabolism together with diminished ureogenesis and a decline in dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase activity. Supplementation with either crocin or curcumin ameliorated most of the biochemical changes induced by iron overload in rat liver. A function that may be beneficial for populations at risk for iron overload.

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