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Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais

Print version ISSN 1516-0572


PERANDIN, D. et al. Protection against hepatic oxidative damage induced by iron by the aqueous extract of Plectranthus barbatus. Rev. bras. plantas med. [online]. 2015, vol.17, n.1, pp.9-17. ISSN 1516-0572.

The Plectranthus barbatus Andrews (Lamiaceae) is a plant largely used in folk medicine to treat gastrointestinal and liver diseases. The objective of this work was to study the protective effect of the aqueous extract of P. barbatus (EAPB) against damage caused by iron overload induced by iron dextran in rat liver. Treatment with iron-dextran induced a significant reduction in the glutathione levels in treated animals compared to control group, and the pretreatment of animals with EAPB protected the liver from the effects caused by iron in this parameter. With respect to lipid peroxidation, a significant increase in the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in treated animals compared to control was observed; however, when the animals were pretreated with EAPB, there was a significant reduction in the MDA levels. Histopathological analysis showed that the group treated with iron-dextran showed iron granules in the cytoplasm of the Kupffer cells and some of them presented enlarged nuclei. The group previously treated with EAPB showed the disappearance of the signs of damage to the Kupffer cells with no nucleus hypertrophy but with the presence of iron granules completely phagocytosed by these cells, which showed a normal morphological appearance. Therefore, the EAPB may be useful in the prevention of liver damage induced by iron overload.

Keywords : Plectranthus barbatus; iron; liver; toxicity; oxidative stress.

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