Hepatoprotective effect of aqueous extract of Aframomum melegueta on ethanol-induced toxicity in rats

Nutritional and Industrial Research Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Acta biochimica Polonica (Impact Factor: 1.15). 08/2011; 58(3):355-8.
Source: PubMed


In recent years there have been remarkable developments in the prevention of diseases, especially with regards to the role of free radicals and antioxidants. Ethanol-induced oxidative stress appears to be one mechanism by which ethanol causes liver injury. The protective effect of aqueous plant extract of Aframomum melegueta on ethanol-induced toxicity was investigated in male Wistar rats. The rats were treated with 45 % ethanol (4.8 g/kg b.w.t.) for 16 days to induce alcoholic diseases in the liver. The activities of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and triglyceride were monitored and the histological changes in liver examined in order to evaluate the protective effects of the plant extract. Hepatic malondialdehyde and reduced glutathione, as well as superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase activities were determined for the antioxidant status. Chronic ethanol administration resulted in a statistically significant elevation of serum alanine aminotransferases and triglyceride levels, as well as a decrease in reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase which was dramatically attenuated by the co-administration of the plant extract. Histological changes were related to these indices. Co-administration of the plant extract suppressed the elevation of lipid peroxidation, restored the reduced glutathion, and enhanced the superoxide dismutase activity. These results highlight the ability of Aframomum melegueta to ameliorate oxidative damage in the liver and the observed effects are associated with its antioxidant activities.

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    • "For instance it has been reported that oral ingestion of its seed extract increases whole-body energy expenditure (Sugita et al., 2013). Other properties reported include antioxidant and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of the seed extract (Adefegha and Oboh, 2012), antihypertensive property (Gbolade, 2012), mycobacterial efflux inhibitory activity (Groblacher et al., 2012), hepatoprotective (Nwozo and Oyinloye, 2011) and reduction in gestational weight gain (Inegbenebor et al., 2009). Inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A' enzyme (Agbonon et al., 2010), anticancer properties (Gismondi et al., 2013) and increased the production of male hormones in rats (Mbongue et al., 2012) have also been reported. "
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    ABSTRACT: The ethnobotanical use of Aframomum melegueta in the treatment of urinary tract and soft tissue infection suggested that the plant has antimicrobial activity. To substantiate the folkloric claims, an acetone, 50:50 acetone:methanol and 2:1 chloroform:methanol extracts were tested against E. coli K12; acetone extract and the fractions of acetone extracts were tested against L. monocytogenes. Bioassay-guided fractionation was performed on the extract using L. monocytogenes as the test organism to isolate the bioactive compounds which were then tested against all the other organisms. Four known labdane diterpenes (G3 and G5) were isolated for the first time from the rhizomes of A. melegueta and purified. These were tested against E. coli, L. monocytogenes, methicillin resistant Staphylococus aureus (MRSA) and Staphylococcus aureus to determine antibacterial activity. The result showed that two compounds G3 and G5 exhibited more potent antibacterial activity compared to the current clinically used antibiotics ampicillin, gentamicin and vancomycin and can be potential antibacterial lead compounds. The structure of the labdane diterpenes were elucidated using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Mass spectrometry. A possible mode of action of the isolated compound G3 and its potential cytotoxicity towards mammalian cells were also discussed. The results confirmed the presence of antibacterial compounds in the rhizomes of A. melegueta with a favourable toxicity profile which could be further optimized as antibacterial lead compounds.
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    Asian Journal of Animal Sciences 01/2013; 7(1):1-3. DOI:10.3923/ajas.2013.1.13
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