Effect of Onion Extract on the Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Liver Injury in Mouse

  • Lee, Kyung-Jin (Department of Biology, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Deok-Song (Department of Biology, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Sun (Department of Biology, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Chin, Jong-Eun (Department of Cosmetology, Dongkang College) ;
  • Kim, Jun-Ho (Department of Pharmacy, Chosun University) ;
  • Na, Myung-Suk (Department of Environmental Health, Kwangju Women University) ;
  • Lee, Jong-Bin (Department of Biology, Chonnam National University)
  • Published : 2003.06.01


The protective effects of onion extract (OE), onion powder extracted in ethanol for 2 days. on carbon tetrachloride ($CCl_4$)-induced hepatotoxicities and the possible mechanisms involved in this protection were investigated in mice. Pretreatment with OE prior to the administration of $CCl_4$ significantly reduced the increase in serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferase activities and hepatic lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, pretreatment with OE significantly prevented the depletion of reduced glutathione content in the liver of $CCl_4$-intoxicated mice. $CCl_4$-induced hepatotoxicity was also prevented, as indicated by a liver histopathologic findings. The effects of OE on the cytochrome P450 (P450) 2E1, the major isozyme involved in $CCl_4$ biotransformation were investigated. Treatment of mice with OE resulted in a significant decrease in P450 2E1-dependent p-nitrophenol and aniline hydroxylation in a dose-dependent manner. Consistent with these observations, the P450 2E1 expressions were also decreased, as determined by immunoblot analysis. OE also exhibited antioxidant effects in FeCl$_2$-ascorbate induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenates and in superoxide radical scavenging activity. These results show that the protective effects of OE against the $CCl_4$-induced hepatotoxicity may be due to its ability to block bioactivation of $CCl_4$, mainly tty inhibiting the expression and activities of P450 2E1 and by scavenging free radicals.


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