The effect of natural antioxidants in cyclophosphamide-induced hepatotoxicity: Role of Nrf2/HO-1 pathway

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Abstract

Hepatotoxicity induced by cyclophosphamide (Cyclo) is a major concern in clinical practice. This study was designed to investigate the possible cytoprotective effect of natural antioxidants as oleuropein and quercetin against Cyclo induced hepatotoxicity via the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) signaling pathway. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups and treated for 10 days as follow: Group I (Normal control) received saline, group II (Oleu control): received orally oleuropein 30 mg/kg/day, group III (Quer control): administered orally quercetin 50 mg/kg/day, group IV (Cyclo): received saline and injected with single intraperitoneal (i.p) dose of Cyclo 200 mg/kg at day 5, group V (Oleu ttt): treated with oleuropein plus Cyclo i.p. injection at day 5, and group VI (Quer ttt): treated with quercetin plus Cyclo i.p. injection at day 5. Injection of Cyclo showed marked increase in serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase, hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels along with significant reduction in hepatic reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase levels in addition to downregulation of hepatic Nrf2 and HO-1 expressions and reduction in hepatic nuclear Nrf2 binding activity when compared with normal group. Histopathological examination of Cyclo treated rats revealed hepatic damage. Both oleuropein and quercetin exhibited an improvement in the biochemical and histopathological findings. In conclusion, the natural antioxidants oleuropein and quercetin counteract the Cyclo induced hepatotoxicity through activation of Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway with subsequent suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation.

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