Hepatoprotective effect of Acantholimon bracteatum (Girard) Boiss. on formaldehyde-induced liver injury in adult male mice

Document Type : Original paper


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran. 2Student Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.

2 Student Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Research and Development Center of Plants and Medicinal Chemistry, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.Medicinal Plants Processing Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.

5 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.

6 Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.


Background and objectives: Acantholimon bracteatum (Girard) Boiss (Plumbaginaceae) is used in variety of diseases including hepatic ailments in the west regions of Iran. In the present study, the hepatoprotective effect of the methanol extract (ME) of A. bracteatum on formaldehyde (FA) induced liver injury has been investigated in adult male mice.
Methods: Fifty six adult male mice were divided into 8 groups. The control group received normal saline. Group II (E2) was treated with formaldehyde 10 mg/kg. Group III to VIII (E3-E8) were treated with both FA (10 mg/kg) and the metanol extract at doses of 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. All animals were treated for 2 weeks (once every other day). At the end of the morphology, histopathology of liver and serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were evaluated.
Results: Formaldehyde induced liver damage both in histology and function. The levels of ALT, AST and ALP enzymes had significantly increased in FA treated group. Administration of ME in all experimental groups significantly reduced serum levels of ALP (p= 0.02); however, AST was reduced significantly just in groups III (E3) and IV(E5) (p<0.002) who were treating with doses of 5 and 15 mg/kg of  A. bracteatum;similarly, ME at doses of 5 and 15 mg/kg protected liver histology against FA.
Conclusion: The results showed that the ME of A. bracteatum has a protective effect on both histology and function of liver in low doses.


[1] Gebhardt R. Metabolic zonation of the liver: regulation and implications for liver function. Pharmacol Ther. 1992; 53(3): 275-354.
[2] Murray CJ, Lopez AD. Mortality by cause for eight regions of the world: Global burden of disease study. Lancet. 1997; 349(9061): 1269-1276.
[3] Achliya GS, Wadodkar SG, Dorle AK. Evaluation of hepatoprotective effect of Amalkadi Ghrita against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 90(2-3): 229-232.
[4] Sultana S, Perwaiz S, Iqbal M, Athar M. Crude extracts of hepatoprotective plants, Solanum nigrum and Cichorium intybus inhibit free radical-mediated DNA damage. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 45(3): 189-192.
[5] Oshima Y, Namao K, Kamijou A, Matsuoka S, Nakano M, Terao K, Ohizumi Y. Powerful hepatoprotective and hepatotoxic plant oligostilbenes, isolated from the Oriental medicinal plant Vitis coignetiae (Vitaceae). Experientia. 1995; 51(1): 63-66.
[6] Pradhan S, Girish C. Hepatoprotective herbal drug, silymarin from experimental pharmacology to clinical medicine. Indian J Med Res. 2006; 124(5): 491-504.
[7] Strubelt O, Younes M, Pentz R, Kühnel W. Mechanistic study on formaldehyde-induced hepatotoxicity. J Toxicol Env Heal A. 1989; 27(3): 351-366.
[8] Teng S, Beard K, Pourahmad J, Moridani M, Easson E, Poon R, O'Brien PJ. The formaldehyde metabolic detoxification enzyme systems and molecular cytotoxic mechanism in isolated rat hepatocytes. Chem-Biol Interact. 2001; 130(3): 285-296.
[9] Girish C, Pradhan SC. Indian herbal medicines in the treatment of liver diseases: problems and promises. Fundam Clin Pharm. 2012; 26(2): 180-189.
[10] Rahmatullah M, Khatun Z, Hasan A, Parvin W, Moniruzzaman M, Khatun A, Mahal MJ, Bhuiyan S, Mou SM, Jahan R. Survey and scientific evaluation of medicinal plants used by the Pahan and Teli tribal communities of Natore district, Bangladesh. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2012; 9(9): 366-373.
[11] Gulec M, Gurel A, Armutcu F. Vitamin E protects against oxidative damage caused by formaldehyde in the liver and plasma of rats. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006; 290(1): 61-67.
[12] Kim MN, Kim BK, Han KH. Hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in the Asia–Pacific region. J Gastroenterol. 2013; 48(6): 681-688.
[13] Wallace DC, Melov S. Radicals r'aging. Nat Genet. 1998; 19: 105-106.
[14] Kaneko JJ, Harvey JW, Bruss ML. Clinical biochemistry of domestic animals. 16th ed. London: Academic press, Elsevier, 2008.
[15] Cikmaz S, Kutoglu T, Kanter M, Mesut R. Effect of formaldehyde inhalation on rat livers: a light and electron microscopic study. Toxicol Ind Health. 2010; 26(26): 113-119.
[16] Yu P, Zuo D. Formaldehyde produced endogenously via deamination of methylamine. A potential risk factor for initiation of endothelial injury. Atherosclerosis. 1996; 120(1-2): 189-197.
[17] Sögüt S, Songur A, Özen OA, Özyurt H, Sarsilmaz M. Does the subacute (4-week) exposure to formaldehyde inhalation lead to oxidant/antioxidant imbalance in rat liver? Eur J General Medicine. 2004; 1(3): 26-32.
[18] Ali SS, Kasoju N, Luthra A, Singh A, Sharanabasava H, Sahu A, Bora U. Indian medicinal herbs as sources of antioxidants. Food Res Int. 2008; 41(1): 1-15.
[19] Gutiérrez RM, Solís RV. Hepatoprotective and inhibition of oxidative stress in liver of Prostechea michuacana. Rec Nat Prod. 2009; 3(1): 46-51.
[20] Tang X, Gao J, Chen J, Xu L, Tang Y, Zhao X, Michael L. Mitochondrial modulation is involved in the hepatoprotection of Limonium sinense extract against liver damage in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008; 120(111): 427-431.
[21] Tang X, Yan L, Gao J, Ge H, Yang H, Lin N. Optimization of extraction process and investigation of antioxidant effect of polysaccharides from the root of Limonium sinense Kuntze. Pharmacogn Mag. 2011; 7(27): 186-192.
[22] Kanchana N, Sadiq AM. Hepatoprotective effect of Plumbago zeylanica on paracetamol induced liver toxicity in rats. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2011; 3(1): 151-154.