Background: Hepatology research has focused on developing traditional therapies as pharmacological medicines to treat liver cirrhosis. Thus, this study evaluated mechanisms of the hepatoprotective activity of Curcuma longa rhizome ethanolic extract (CLRE) on thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis in rats.
Methods: The hepatoprotective effect of CLRE was measured in a rat model of thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis over 8 weeks. Hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 and serum levels of TGF-β1 and TNF-α were evaluated. Oxidative stress was measured by malondialdehyde, urinary 8-hydroxyguanosine and nitrotyrosine levels. The protective activity of CLRE free-radical scavenging mechanisms were evaluated through antioxidant enzymes. Protein expression of pro-apoptotic Bax and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins in animal blood sera was studied and confirmed by immunohistochemistry of Bax, Bcl2 proteins and proliferating cell nuclear antigen.
Results: Histopathology, immunohistochemistry and liver biochemistry were significantly lower in the Curcuma longa-treated groups compared with controls. CLRE induced apoptosis, inhibited hepatocytes proliferation but had no effect on hepatic CYP2E1 levels.
Conclusion: The progression of liver cirrhosis could be inhibited by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of CLRE and the normal status of the liver could be preserved.