Amelioration of Benzo[a]pyrene-induced oxidative stress and pulmonary toxicity by Naringenin in Wistar rats: A plausible role of COX-2 and NF-κB
Naringenin is a naturally occurring flavanones and has been found to exhibit free radical scavenging, enzyme inhibition, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. Present study was designed to evaluate the protective role of naringenin against benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P)-induced oxidative stress and pulmonary toxicity. Rats were treated with naringenin at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight (b. wt.), by oral gavage. B[a]P in a single dose of 50 mg/kg b. wt. was given intraperitoneally. Total protein, total cell counts, lactate dehydrogenase, lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione, antioxidant enzymes activities, lung histology and expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) was assessed to evaluate protective effects of naringenin. Histopathological and immunohistochemical studies were also carried out to observe lung toxicity and inflammation. B[a]P administration enhanced the levels of lung injury markers and reduced antioxidant enzymes activities. Naringenin treatment attenuated the levels of oxidative stress by restoring antioxidant enzymes, further improved lung histological damage and significant decrease in inflammatory responses. Naringenin also effectively decreased the expression of NF-κB, and COX-2 induced by B[a]P. These findings suggest that naringenin supplementation is beneficial in maintaining the integrity of alveoli and the epithelium that may be used as a protective agent in B[a]P-induced oxidative stress and lung damage. However, further studies are warranted to elucidate the potential mechanism of action of naringenin.