Protective effect of thymoquinone against carbon tetrachloride- induced hepatotoxicity in mice

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The protective effects of thymoqinone (TQ), the major constituent of the volatile oil from the Nigella sativa seeds (black seed), on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity were investigated in male Swiss albino mice. CCl4 (25 μL/kg, i.p.) induced marked increases of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and hepatic lipid peroxidation measured as the malondialdehyde (MDA) level. ALT and MDA levels were significantly inhibited by TQ oral administration (8 mg/kg/day x 6) started 5 days before CCl4 injection. The effects of TQ on the biochemical markers were observed 24 hr after CCl4 administration (at the peak of CCl4-induced hepatic toxicity). The protective effects of TQ were confirmed by direct histopathological examination. The data from the present study suggest that TQ is an efficient cytoprotective agent against chemically-induced hepatic damage, an action that might be mediated through inhibition of lipid peroxidation.

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