Veena Sharma, Rekha Gupta, Shatruhan Sharma

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2011 2(3):125-132

Background: Aflatoxins are potent hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic agents. This hepatotoxicity is thought to be mediated by their ability to generate reactive oxygen species and cause peroxidative damage. Considering the antioxidant properties of Tinospora cordifolia, this study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of Tinospora cordifolia root extract in terms of altered biochemical, hematological, serological and histopathological parameters. Methods: Sixty male swiss albino mice were taken for post exposure therapy. Results: Aflatoxin exposure elicited a significant escalation in the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and depletion in reduced glutathione, protein, ascorbic acid and antioxidant enzymes, namely, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase activities. Chronic aflatoxin ingestion showed a significant decline in total erythrocyte count, lymphocyte count, hemoglobin, hematocrit values while total leukocyte count, platelet count and neutrophil count significantly increased in the aflatoxin-treated group. The activities of aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphate augmented significantly in the serum of aflatoxin-exposed mice suggesting hepatic damage. Aflatoxin administration decreased the content of high density lipoprotein while increased the content of cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein and very low density lipoprotein significantly. Pathological examination of the liver tissue also supported the biochemical findings. However, post-exposure administration of Tinospora cordifolia root extract to the aflatoxin-treated group attenuated the deranged parameters to some extent. Conclusion: This study indicated that Tinospora cordifolia can be a protective regimen for aflatoxin toxicity.