Curcumin Attenuates Hepatotoxicity Induced by Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in Rats.
Balkan Med J. 2016 May ;33(3):252-7. Epub 2016 May 1. PMID: 27308068
BACKGROUND: Zinc oxide nanoparticles (NZnO) are increasingly used in modern life. Most metal nanoparticles have adverse effects on the liver.
AIMS: To explore the protective action of curcumin (Cur) against hepatotoxicity induced by NZnO in rats.
STUDY DESIGN: Animal experimentation.
METHODS: Control group animals received normal saline, while the Cur group animals were treated with 200 mg/kg of Cur orally for 21 days. NZnO-intoxicated rats received 50 mg/kg of NZnO for 14 days by gavage method. In the NZnO+Cur group, rats were pretreated with Cur for 7 days before NZnO administration. Plasma activities of Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were measured as biomarkers of hepatotoxicity. Hepatic levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured for detection of oxidative stress in liver tissue. Histological changes and apoptosis in liver tissue were studied by using Hematoxylin-eosin staining and the transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method.
RESULTS: NZnO induced a significant increase in plasma AST (2.8-fold), ALT (2.7-fold) and ALP (1.97-fold) activity in comparison to the control group (p<0.01). NZnO increased MDA content and reduced SOD and GPx activities. NZnO caused liver damage including centrilobular necrosis and microvesicular steatosis. The percentage of apoptosis in hepatocytes was increased in NZnO-treated rats (p<0.01). Pre-treatment of Cur significantly reduced lipid peroxidation (39%), increased SOD (156%) and GPx (26%) activities, and attenuated ALT (47%), AST (41%) and ALP (30%) activities. Pre-treatment with Cur also decreased the histology changes and apoptotic index of hepatocytes (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that Cur effectively protects against NZnO-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. However, future studies are required to propose Cur as a potential protective agent against hepatotoxicity induced by metal nanoparticles.