Phthalates have been blended in various compositions as plasticizers worldwide for a variety of purposes. Consequently, humans are exposed to a wide spectrum of phthalates that needs to be researched and understood correctly. The goal of this review is to focus on phthalate's internal exposure pathways and possible role of human digestion on liver toxicity. In addition, special focus was made on stem cell therapy in reverting liver toxicity. The known entry of higher molecular weight phthalates is through ingestion while inhalation and dermal pathways are for lower molecular weight phthalates. In human body, certain phthalates are digested through phase 1 (hydrolysis, oxidation) and phase 2 (conjugation) metabolic processes. The phthalates that are made bioavailable through digestion enter the blood stream and reach the liver for further detoxification, and these are excreted via urine and/or feces. Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a compound well studied involving human metabolism. Liver plays a pivotal role in humans for detoxification of pollutants. Thus, continuous exposure to phthalates in humans may lead to inhibition of liver detoxifying enzymes and may result in liver dysfunction. The potential of stem cell therapy addressed herewith will revert liver dysfunction and lead to restoration of liver function properly.
Paraquat (PQ) is a herbicide agent commonly used in agricultural applications. Hepatotoxicity is among clinical complications associated with PQ intoxication. Oxidative stress and its subsequent events are major mechanisms identified in PQ-induced liver toxicity. Berberine (BBR) is a natural antioxidant widely investigated for its hepatoprotective effects. The present study designed to evaluate the potential cytoprotective properties of BBR against PQ-induced cytotoxicity in primary cultured rat hepatocytes and in vivo test of liver function enzymes. Cellular and biochemical parameters including lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), cell viability, ROS formation, glutathione (GSH) content, and mitochondrial membrane potential in the PQ-treated hepatocytes were measured, and the mentioned markers were evaluated in the presence of BBR. BBR treatment caused significant decrease in PQ-induced cell death, ROS formation, and LDH release. On the other hand, it was found that BBR inhibits cellular glutathione depletion in PQ-treated hepatocytes. Also, BBR treatment significantly diminished PQ-induced the liver function enzyme elevation. These data mention the potential hepatoprotective effect of BBR with therapeutic capability against PQ-induced liver damage.
The effect of palm oil, a widely used vegetable oil, rich in tocotrienols, on peroxidation potential of rat liver was examined. Long-term feeding of rats with palm oil as one of the dietary components significantly reduced the peroxidation potential of hepatic mitochondria and microsomes. As compared to hepatic mitochondria isolated from rats fed control or corn oil-rich diet, those from palm oil-fed group showed significantly less susceptibility to peroxidation induced by ascorbate and NADPH. However, in microsomes, only NADPH-induced lipid peroxidation was significantly reduced in rats fed palm oil rich-diet. Though the accumulation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances during ascorbate-induced lipid peroxidation in mitochondria from rats fed corn oil-rich diet supplemented with tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) of palm oil was similar to that of control rats, the initial rate of peroxidation was much slower than those from control or corn oil fed diets. Our in vitro studies as well as analyses of co-factors related to peroxidation potential indicated that the observed decrease in palm oil-fed rats may be due to increased amount of antioxidants in terms of tocotrienol as well as decrease in the availability of substrates for peroxidation.
Curcuma xanthorrhiza (CX) has been used for centuries in traditional system of medicine to treat several diseases such as hepatitis, liver complaints, and diabetes. It has been consumed as food supplement and "jamu" as a remedy for hepatitis. Hence, CX was further explored for its potential as a functional food for liver related diseases. As such, initiative was taken to evaluate the antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of CX rhizome. Antioxidant activity of the standardized CX fractions was determined using in vitro assays. Hepatoprotective assay was conducted against carbon tetrachloride- (CCl4-) induced hepatic damage in rats at doses of 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg of hexane fraction. Highest antioxidant activity was found in hexane fraction. In the case of hepatoprotective activity, CX hexane fraction showed significant improvement in terms of a biochemical liver function, antioxidative liver enzymes, and lipid peroxidation activity. Good recovery was observed in the treated hepatic tissues histologically. Hence, the results concluded that CX hexane fraction possessed prominent hepatoprotective activities which might be due to its in vitro antioxidant activity. These findings also support the use of CX as a functional food for hepatitis remedy in traditional medicinal system.
Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is an isothiocyanate found in watercress as the glucosinolate (gluconasturtiin). The isothiocyanate is converted from the glucosinolate by intestinal microflora or when contacted with myrosinase during the chopping and mastication of the vegetable. PEITC manifested protection against chemically-induced cancers in various tissues. A potential mechanism of chemoprevention is by modulating the metabolism of carcinogens so as to promote deactivation. The principal objective of this study was to investigate in rats the effect of PEITC on carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems such as sulfotransferase (SULT), N-acetyltransferase (NAT), glucuronosyl transferase (UDP), and epoxide hydrolase (EH) following exposure to low doses that simulate human dietary intake. Rats were fed for 2 weeks diets supplemented with PEITC at 0.06 µmol/g (low dose, i.e., dietary intake), 0.6 µmol/g (medium dose), and 6.0 µmol/g (high dose), and the enzymes were monitored in rat liver. At the Low dose, no induction of the SULT, NAT, and EH was noted, whereas UDP level was elevated. At the Medium dose, only SULT level was increased, whereas at the High dose marked increase in EH level was observed. It is concluded that PEITC modulates carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems at doses reflecting human intake thus elucidating the mechanism of its chemoprevention.
Aflatoxin is ubiquitously found in many foodstuffs and produced by Aspergillus species of fungi. Of many aflatoxin metabolites, AFB1 is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as group one carcinogen and linked to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study on molecular biomarker of aflatoxin provides a better assessment on the extent of human exposure to aflatoxin. In Malaysia, the occurrences of aflatoxin-contaminated foods have been documented, but there is a lack of data on human exposure to aflatoxin. Hence, this study investigated the occurrence of AFB1-lysine adduct in serum samples and its association with liver and kidney functions. 5ml fasting blood samples were collected from seventy-one subjects (n=71) for the measurement of AFB1-lysine adduct, albumin, total bilirubin, AST (aspartate aminotransferase), ALT (alanine transaminase), ALP (alkaline phosphatase), GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase), creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen). The AFB1-lysine adduct was detected in all serum samples (100% detection rate) with a mean of 6.85±3.20pg/mg albumin (range: 1.13-18.85pg/mg albumin). Male subjects (mean: 8.03±3.41pg/mg albumin) had significantly higher adduct levels than female subjects (mean: 5.64±2.46pg/mg albumin) (p<0.01). It was noteworthy that subjects with adduct levels greater than average (>6.85pg/mg albumin) had significantly elevated level of total bilirubin (p<0.01), GGT (p<0.05) and creatinine (p<0.01). Nevertheless, only the level of total bilirubin, (r=0.347, p-value=0.003) and creatinine (r=0.318, p-value=0.007) showed significant and positive correlation with the level of AFB1-lysine adduct. This study provides a valuable insight on human exposure to aflatoxin in Malaysia. Given that aflatoxin can pose serious problem to the health, intervention strategies should be implemented to limit/reduce human exposure to aflatoxin. Besides, a study with a big sample size should be warranted in order to assess aflatoxin exposure in the general population of Malaysia.
Pollutants put great stress on the environment, especially the aquatic ecosystem; therefore, the ease with which pollutants migrate in water is a subject of global concern. In this study, leachate from landfill that was analyzed with the objective of understanding the potential impact to the environment was tested on Pangasius sutchi. Heavy metals available at various concentrations in raw leachate samples of both closed and active landfills necessitated the determination of their degree of bioaccumulation in this fish species in order to enrich the risk data on toxicity of effluents. Zinc (3.2 µg g(-1)), iron (2.1 µg g(-1)) and chromium (0.24 µg g(-1)) detected in the fish within 96 h of acute exposure is of concern. A histopathology test on excised liver of P. sutchi indicated cellular disruption from normal stain. Heterogeneous effluents like leachate may affect not only groundwater but can endanger aquatic ecosystems, especially in some regions where improper waste disposal and treatment allow the flow of leachate into surface water courses. Though metals might be beneficial to organisms, the extent at which they can accumulate in leachate-exposed fish is a risk and can initiate metal toxicity in aquatic life.
Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are considered among the most controversial biomarkers of water pollutants in fish with little known about factors influencing their activities. The objective of this study was to investigate how gender, dose, ploidy, and sampling time alter hepatic GST activities in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) following β-naphthoflavone (β-NF) injection. Newly matured male and female diploid and triploid fish were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 0, 15, or 75 mg/kg of β-NF, and livers were excised 24, 48, and 72 h post-injection. Results showed that hepatic GST activities were significantly inhibited by both doses of β-NF. Inhibition was greater in females than males, but no significant differences were observed between diploid and triploid fish. Enzymatic activities differed over time with lowest levels 72 h post-injection. These results extend our understanding of GST activity in fish and highlight the necessity of considering confounding factors when comparing different studies.
Glutathione-S-Transferase (GST) and metallothionein are important biomarker endpoints in studying the effect of Cd exposure. The purpose of this research was to study the correlation between hepatic GST and metallothionein with hepatic Cd in wild Fejervarya limnocharis exposed to environmental Cd. Results showed that frogs from contaminated sites had significantly higher hepatic metallothionein (3.58 mg/kg wet weight) and GST activity (0.259 μmol/min/mg total protein) than those from the reference site (2.36 mg/kg wet weight and 0.157 μmol/min/mg total protein respectively). There was a significantly positive correlation between hepatic Cd and GST activity (r = 0.802, p = 0.009) but not between hepatic Cd and metallothionein (r = 0.548, p = 0.139). The results concluded that while frogs from the contaminated site had higher GST and metallothionein, only GST showed significant positive correlation with hepatic Cd levels, indicating that hepatic GST activity may be used as a biomarker endpoint.
The methanol extract of Vernonia cinerea Less (Asteraceae), which exhibited antimicrobial activity, was tested for toxicity. In an acute toxicity study using mice, the median lethal dose (LD(50)) of the extract was greater than 2000 mg/kg, and we found no pathological changes in macroscopic examination by necropsy of mice treated with extract. As well as the oral acute toxicity study, the brine shrimp lethality test was also done. Brine shrimp test LC(50) values were 3.87 mg/mL (6 h) and 2.72 mg/mL (24 h), exhibiting no significant toxicity result. In conclusion, the methanol extract of V. cinerea did not produce toxic effects in mice and brine shrimp.
Murdannia bracteata (C. B. Clarke) is a local plant that is widely used in Malaysia as a traditional remedy for various diseases of the kidney and liver, including inflammation and cancer. In the present study, we investigated the antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities of M. bracteata methanol extract (MB). 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity, lipid peroxidation inhibition and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of MB were determined. The hepatoprotective activity of MB was studied using a CCl(4)-induced liver toxicity model in rats. The hepatoprotective effect was assessed by monitoring the plasma malondialdehyde level and serum alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase activities. Histopathological changes of hepatic tissue were also investigated. The results indicated that MB possessed potential antioxidant, lipid peroxidation inhibition and free radical scavenging activities. Pretreatment of rats with MB (500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg per os) before induction of CCl(4)-induced hepatotoxicity showed a dose-dependent reduction in the necrotic changes in hepatic tissue. The increases in plasma malondialdehyde level, serum alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase activities were also significantly inhibited by MB. The total phenolic content of MB determined using Folin-Ciocalteu assay was found to be 10%. The results of the present study indicated that the hepatoprotective effect of MB is most likely due to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.
Diabetic liver is associated with biochemical, physiological and pathological changes. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the histological changes following administration of Momordica charantia (MC) in the streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats.
1. The effect of tocotrienol and tocopherol on glutathione S-transferase (GST) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) activities in cultured rat hepatocytes were investigated. 2. Tocotrienol and tocopherol significantly decreased GGT activities at 5 days in culture but tocotrienol also significantly decreased GGT activities at 1-2 days. 3. Tocotrienol and tocopherol treatment significantly decreased GST activities at 3 days compared to the control but tocotrienol also decreased GST activities at 1-3 days. 4. Tocotrienol showed a more pronounced effect at a dosage of greater than 50 microM tocotrienol at 1-3 days in culture compared to the control.
1. In vitro studies of non-specific histidine decarboxylase activity was low or absent in control guinea-pigs and unchanged 9 or 27 hr after chlorpromazine (CPZ) injection intraperitoneally. 2. However, specific histidine decarboxylase activity was found in the control tissues and was increased 9 hr but not 27 hr after CPZ injection.
The release of pollutants, especially heavy metals, into the aquatic environment is known to have detrimental effects on such an environment and on living organisms including humans when those pollutants are allowed to enter the food chain. The aim of this study is to analyse the damage to Clarias gariepinus' liver caused by exposure to different concentrations of copper. In the present study, samples of C. gariepinus were exposed to sub-lethal copper sulphate (CuSO4) concentrations (from 0.2 to 20.0 mg/L) for 96 h. Physiological and behavioural alterations were observed with respect to their swimming pattern, mucus secretion and skin colour. Mortality was also observed at high concentrations of copper. Histopathological alterations of the liver were analysed under light, transmission and scanning electron microscopies. The liver of the untreated group showed normal tissue structures, while histopathological abnormalities were observed in the treated fish under light and electron microscopes with increased copper concentrations. Histopathological abnormalities include necrosis, melanomacrophage, hepatic fibrosis and congested blood vessels. In addition, the enzyme activity of liver cholinesterase (ChE) was also found to be affected by copper sulphate, as 100% of cholinesterase activity was inhibited at 20.0 mg/L. Thus, liver enzyme activity and histopathological changes are proven to be alternative sources for biomarkers of metal toxicity.
Mefenamic acid (MFA) is used as an anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and antipyretic agent for treatment of a wide range of pathological disorders. While the uncertainty of its safety and the poor oral bioavailability constitute the major limiting factors of its medical use, considerable efforts including liposomal encapsulation are needed to achieve maximum therapeutic advantages. The current work was conducted to investigate the ultrastructural alterations in the liver induced by free MFA and its liposomal preparation. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with daily oral doses of either free MFA or MFA entrapped in Tween 80 inoculated liposomes at the concentration of 80 mg/kg for 28 days. Ultrathin sections were prepared from biopsies taken from the liver of each member of all animals under study and subjected to examination by transmission electron microscopy. The liver of rats that were exposed to liposomal MFA showed more ultrastructural alterations than the rats treated with the free drug. While both groups of rats demonstrated sinusoidal dilatation, Kupffer cell hyperplasia, mitochondrial damage, and nuclear alterations, rats treated with liposome-encapsulated MFA induced an increase in the multiple lysosomes formation, hepatocytic steatosis, and apoptotic activity than free MFA-treated rats. The ultrastructural findings of the present study indicate that the use of liposomal MFA induces more hepatic damage than the use of free MFA.
There is now a wealth of information regarding the apoptotic mode of cell death and its importance in toxicological studies in many mammalian organs including the liver. In this study, we investigated the modulatory effects of the heavy metal Zn2+ on transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1)-induced apoptosis in primary rat hepatocytes. Apoptosis induced by TGF-beta1 (1 ng/ml) in hepatocytes was accompanied by nuclear condensation as assessed morphologically by staining with Hoechst 33258 and DNA cleavage as detected biochemically by in situ end-labeling, field inversion and conventional gel electrophoresis. Pretreatment with 100 micromol/L Zn2+ abrogated the nuclear condensation, in situ end-labeling, and DNA laddering in TGF-beta1-treated hepatocytes. Surprisingly, Zn2+ did not inhibit the formation of high-molecular-weight DNA fragments (30-50 kbp to 250-300 kbp). These data provide evidence that Zn2+ exerts its effects on the endonucleases that act downstream in the execution phase of TGF-beta1-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes.
The intracellular level of bilirubin (BR), an endogenous antioxidant that is cytotoxic at high concentrations, is tightly controlled within the optimal therapeutic range. We have recently described a concerted intracellular BR regulation by two microsomal enzymes: heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1), essential for BR production and cytochrome P450 2A5 (CYP2A5), a BR oxidase. Herein, we describe targeting of these enzymes to hepatic mitochondria during oxidative stress. The kinetics of microsomal and mitochondrial BR oxidation were compared. Treatment of DBA/2J mice with 200mgpyrazole/kg/day for 3days increased hepatic intracellular protein carbonyl content and induced nucleo-translocation of Nrf2. HMOX1 and CYP2A5 proteins and activities were elevated in microsomes and mitoplasts but not the UGT1A1, a catalyst of BR glucuronidation. A CYP2A5 antibody inhibited 75% of microsomal BR oxidation. The inhibition was absent in control mitoplasts but elevated to 50% after treatment. An adrenodoxin reductase antibody did not inhibit microsomal BR oxidation but inhibited 50% of mitochondrial BR oxidation. Ascorbic acid inhibited 5% and 22% of the reaction in control and treated microsomes, respectively. In control mitoplasts the inhibition was 100%, which was reduced to 50% after treatment. Bilirubin affinity to mitochondrial and microsomal CYP2A5 enzyme is equally high. Lastly, the treatment neither released cytochrome c into cytoplasm nor dissipated membrane potential, indicating the absence of mitochondrial membrane damage. Collectively, the observations suggest that BR regulatory enzymes are recruited to mitochondria during oxidative stress and BR oxidation by mitochondrial CYP2A5 is supported by mitochondrial mono-oxygenase system. The induced recruitment potentially confers membrane protection.