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Protective effects of Coriandrum sativum extracts on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats

Liver is the first organ to metabolise all foreign compounds and hence it is susceptible to almost as many different diseases. Some are rare but there are a few, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol-related disorders and liver cancer. A major cause of these disorders is due to exposure to different environmental pollutants and xeno-biotics e.g., paracetamol, carbon tetrachloride, thioacetamide, alco-hol, etc. These toxicants mainly damage liver by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Reactive oxygen free radicals have been known to produce tis-sue injury through covalent binding and lipid peroxidation and have been shown to augment fibrosis as seen from increased colla-gen synthesis (Geesin et al., 1990). Scavenging of free radicals by antioxidants could reduce the fibrosis process in the tissues (Thre-siamma and Kuttan, 1996). Free radicals may also be a contributory factor in a progressive decline in the function of immune system (Pike and Chandra, 1995). Cooperative defense systems that pro-tect the body from free radical damage include the antioxidant nutrients and enzymes. The antioxidant enzymes include superox-ide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase(GPx). Their role as protective enzymes is well-known and has been investigated extensively with in vivo models.