The protective action of thymol against carbon tetrachloride hepatotoxicity in mice

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The protective action of thymol (paramethyl-isopropyl-phenol) was investigated against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity in male Swiss albino mice. The CCl4 at a dose of 20 μl kg-1 produced damage to liver cells and was followed by the significant increase (P < 0.001) in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and hepatic lipid peroxidation after 24 h. The hepatocellular necrosis was further confirmed by histopathological examination of liver section. Oral administration of thymol in a single dose (300 mg kg-1) resulted in significant (P < 0.05) amelioration of CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. Thymol also inhibited lipid peroxidation induced by CCl4 in vivo. The protection offered by thymol was also evident from histopathology photomicrograph. In a separate in vitro assay, thymol inhibited the non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation of normal mice liver homogenate induced by Fe3+-ascorbate. The present study suggests that thymol protects the liver against CCl4-induced toxicity and the protection may be mediated through its ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation. However, other interactions between thymol and CCl4 remains to be elucidated.

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