The protective effect of ethanol extract and saponin of Panax ginseng, against thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats was investigated. Male Sprague Dawley rats (200-300 g) were given single intragastric thioacetamide (100 mg/kg bw). Aqueous solutions of ethanol extract (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg) and saponin (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg) of Panax ginseng or a known hepatoprotective agent, silymarin (20 mg/kg) was administered intragastrically daily for six days from four days before until one day after thioacetamide administration. At the end of the treatment of the test drugs, the rats were fasted overnight and sacrificed. As a result, thioacetamide caused significant increase in serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, 5'-nucleotidase and bilirubin. Thioacetamide increased Ca++ content but decreased protein content in liver tissue. These thioacetamide-induced biochemical changes were prevented both by ethanol extract of ginseng and silymarin, but not by ginseng saponin. Increment in liver weight and liver weight/body weight caused by thioacetamide was neither influenced by ethanol extract, saponin nor silymarin. In conclusion, ethanol extract of Panax ginseng protects the liver from thioacetamide intoxication possibly by stabilizing the cell membrane and by inhibiting thioacetamide-induced Ca++ increment in the hepatocytes. The hepatoprotective activity of ethanol extract was comparable to that of silymarin, a known hepatoprotective agent.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Asia Pacific Journal of Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996 Dec|
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