Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract On Some Serum Liver Marker Enzymes (AST, ALT) In Gentamicin Intoxicated Rats
Background: Liver is an essential metabolic organ. It can be damaged due to prolonged use and higher doses of drugs, exposure to some chemicals, toxins, or infectious agents. Herbal plants as ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) may have free radical scavenging activity thereby can be used for the prevention and treatment of liver damage.
Objective: To observe the effect of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract on gentamicin induced changes of some liver marker enzymes e,g serum aspartate amino transferase (AST ) and alanine amino transferase (ALT) in Wistar albino rats.
Methods: This experimental study was carried out in the Department of Physiology, Sir Salimullah Medical College (SSMC), Dhaka from 1st July 2010 to 30th June 2011. A total number of 35 Wistar albino rats, aged 90 to 120 days, weighing between 150 to 200 grams were selected for the study. After acclimatization for 14 days, they were divided into control group (Group A) and experimental group (Group B). Control group was again subdivided into group A1 (baseline control, consisted of 10 rats) and group A2 (gentamicin treated control group, consisted of 10 rats). Again, experimental group (Group B-ashwagandha pretreated and gentamicin treated group) consisted of 15 rats. All groups of animals received basal diet for 22 consecutive days. In addition to this, group A2 also received gentamicin subcutaneously (100mg /kg body weight/day) for the last eight (15th to 22nd day) consecutive days. Again, group B received ashwagandha root extract (500mg/kg body weight/day, orally) for 22 consecutive days and gentamicin subcutaneously (100mg/kg body weight /day) for last eight (15th to 22nd day) days. All the animals were sacrificed on 23rd day. Then blood and liver samples were collected. For assessment of liver function, serum AST, ALT and bilirubin levels were estimated. All these tests were done by standard Laboratory technique. The statistical analysis was done by one way ANOVA and Bonferroni test as applicable.
Results: The mean serum levels of AST and ALT were significantly (p<0.001) higher in gentamicin treated control group and in ashwagandha pretreated and gentamicin treated group in comparison to those of baseline control group.. Again, these levels were significantly (p<0.001) lower in ashwagandha pretreated and gentamicin treated group than those of gentamicin treated control group.
Conclusion: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract restored serum AST, ALT towards normal levels in gentamicin intoxicated rats which may be due to its free radical scavenging activity. Therefore it may have hepatoprotective effect.
J Bangladesh Soc Physiol. 2012, June; 7(1): 1-7
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