The hepatocytes showed hydropic degeneration associated with severe congestion in the portal vein and periductal fibrosis surrounding the bile ducts at the portal area (Fig. 4) in the parsley oil-pretreated group.
The present study was carried out to assess the protective properties of parsley oil on hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress. In terms of serum enzymes related to liver function, pretreatment with parsley oil successfully ameliorated the activities of AST, ALT, ALP, and γ-GT, which increased with the administration of alcohol.
Pretreatment with parsley oil produced a potential increase in the GSH level, GST, and CAT activities compared with the alcohol-treated group, which showed a significant decrease in the above parameters. Inversely, the lipid peroxidation level increased significantly in alcohol-administered rats and decreased significantly in the group that received pretreatment with parsley oil.
In ethyl alcohol-administered rats, the portal area showed severe dilatation and congestion in the portal vein associated with periductal fibrosis surrounding the bile ducts. Also, fatty change was observed in a diffuse manner in all the hepatocytes. However, the hepatocytes of the parsley oil-pretreated group showed hydropic degeneration associated with severe congestion in the portal vein and periductal fibrosis surrounding the bile ducts at the portal area.
CAT acts as a preventive antioxidant and plays an important role in the protection against the deleterious effects of lipid hydroperoxide (LPO). Reports have shown that there is a significant decrease in the activities of CAT in alcoholic patients 64. The decreased activity of CAT was because of exhaustion of the enzyme as a result of oxidative stress induced by the alcohol. Presumably, a decrease in CAT activity could be attributed to cross-linking and inactivation of the enzyme protein in the lipid peroxides.
Liver lipid peroxidation was increased as a result of alcohol administration, whereas it was significantly decreased in the parsley oil group, corresponding to the control group. The current results were in agreement with those of Pandanaboina et al.59, who observed a significant increase in lipid peroxidation during alcohol consumption, as reported by earlier studies 65. The alcohol intoxication increases LPO production in various tissues, and is indicative of tissue oxidative stress. Nearly 60–80% ingested alcohol is metabolized in the liver, and this makes it more vulnerable than other organs to alcohol-induced oxidative stress 66. This concept is supported by the greater increase in LPO production in the liver compared with other organs.
Parsley extract may decrease the liver peroxides back to near-normal levels. This indicates that parsley extract may inhibit oxidative damage of hepatic tissue 31. Antioxidant effects have been reported for some plants that contain flavonoids, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, and tocopherol 67. Phytochemical results showed that parsley extracts are rich in flavonoids 53, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid 68, and tocopherol 69. It is possible that the antioxidant effects of this herb are related to these components.
In conclusion, the present results showed that parsley oil plays an important role by exerting an ameliorating effect against alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress. Further clinical studies are required to assess the benefits and safety of parsley oil before their use in humans and approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
There are no conflicts of interest.
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