Amelioration of lead-induced hepatotoxicity by Allium sativum extracts in Swiss albino mice

Original article


Arti Sharma, Veena Sharma, Leena Kansal

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Banasthali University, Banasthali, Rajasthan, India

Libyan J Med 2010, 5: 4621 – DOI: 10.4176/091107


Lead is a blue-gray and highly toxic divalent metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and is spread throughout the environment by various human activities. The efficacy of garlic (Allium sativum) to reduce hepatotoxicity induced by lead nitrate was evaluated experimentally in male mice. Oral treatment with lead nitrate at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight daily for 40 days (1/45 of LD50) induced a significant increase in the levels of hepatic aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, cholesterol, lipid peroxidation, and lead nitrate. In parallel, hepatic protein levels in lead-exposed mice were significantly depleted. Lead nitrate exposure also produced detrimental effects on the redox status of the liver indicated by a significant decline in the levels of liver antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione. After exposure to lead nitrate (50 mg/kg body weight for 10 days), the animals received aqueous garlic extract (250 mg/kg body weight and 500 mg/kg body weight) and ethanolic garlic extract (100 mg/kg body weight and 250 mg/kg body weight), and partially restored the deranged parameters significantly. Histological examination of the liver also revealed pathophysiological changes in lead nitrate-exposed group and treatment with garlic improved liver histology. Our data suggest that garlic is a phytoantioxidant that can counteract the deleterious effects of lead nitrate.

Keywords: lead; Allium sativum; lipid peroxidation; marker enzymes; hepatotoxicity; metal estimation