Evaluation of Hepatoprotective Activity of Aqueous Seed Extract of Nigella Sativa in Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Administered Rats

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Liver is a metabolically active organ responsible for many vital life functions. It performs many activities that are critical for survival. Due to its important activities, the liver is exposed to a number of insults and is one of the body's organs most subject to injury. Although antiretroviral drugs have significantly improved morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected patients, these benefits are compromised by numerous side effects, adverse clinical events and toxicities. The most common and troublesome toxicity of antiretroviral drugs is hepatotoxicity. In spite of tremendous advances in modern medicine, there are hardly any reliable drugs that protect the liver from damage and/or help in regeneration of hepatic cell. It is, therefore, necessary to search for effective and safe herbal drugs for the treatment of liver disease to replace currently used drugs of doubtful efficacy and safety. Aim of the study: to investigate the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seed in highly active antiretroviral therapy (Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Efavirenz) administered rats. Materials and Methods: thirty six rats weighed between 150-200g were randomly divided into six groups and each group comprised of six rats. Rats in group I were administered with distilled water. Rats in group II were administered with highly active antiretroviral therapy only. Rats in groups III - VI were administered 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg N. sativa plus highly active antiretroviral therapy respectively. The treatments were given orally for 28 consecutive days. On the 29th day, all rats were sacrificed under light diethyl ether anaesthesia; blood samples were collected for the assessment of biochemical parameters, while liver tissue was used for histopathological assessment. Results: Serum levels of liver enzymes ALT, AST, ALP, and GGT were significantly (p<0.05) increased and albumin concentration was significantly decreased in animals treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy as compared to the normal control. Histopathological observations also revealed severe damage in the structure of liver tissue in animals administered with highly active antiretroviral therapy. Treatment of highly active antiretroviral therapy exposed animals with N. sativa showed marked improvement in both biochemical and histopathological findings. Rise in liver enzymes was almost restored to normal in animals treated with N. sativa. Conclusion: N. sativa through its antioxidant activity effectively protects highly active antiretroviral therapy induced liver toxicity. Key Words: HAART, Nigella sativa, Liver enzymes, hepatoprotective



Haart; Nigella Sativa; Liver Enzymes; Hepatoprotective