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Hepatoprotective Effect of Houttuynia cordata Thunb Extract against Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Hepatic Damage in Mice

Houttuynia cordata Thunb (Saururaceae) is a traditional medicinal herb used to treat several disease symptoms. The present study was focused on the hepatoprotective effects of H. cordata ethyl acetate extract in experimental mice. Further the antioxidant potential of the extract was also evaluated to substantiate its hepatoprotective properties. Carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage in mice was used to measure the serum biochemical parameters. Morphological changes in hepatocyte architecture were studied by haematoxylin and eosin staining. In vitro alkyl and hydroxyl free radical scavenging assays were performed to evaluate the antioxidant effect. Administration of H. cordata extract significantly reduced the elevated serum levels and regulated the altered levels of serum cholesterol in carbon tetrachloride-treated mice (P<0.05). The morphological changes in hepatocyte architecture were also reversed by H. cordata treatment. Further, the extract showed significant antioxidant actions by scavenging the alkyl and hydroxyl free radicals. The concentration of the extract necessary for 50% scavenging of alkyl and hydroxyl radicals was 15.5 and 410 µg/ml, respectively. H. cordata extract exhibited significant hepatoprotective property in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. The strong antioxidant activities possessed by the extract might be responsible for such actions.