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Egypt. J. Exp. Biol. (Zoo.). 2006; 2(0): 221-232


Yousry El-Sayed El-Bolkiny.


This study aimed to test whether Nigella sativa L oil (NSO) and its purified active ingredient thymoquinone (TQ) can ameliorate the toxicity induced in male albino rats after injection with cyclophosphamide (CP). Thus, rats were orally administered with NSO or TQ before or after single intraperitoneal injection with 200 mg/Kg CP. Injection of the rats with CP induced marked toxicity evidenced by: 1) decreasing the growth rate of the rats and the relative weights of their liver; 2) decreasing the hemoglobin concentration [Hb] and increasing the blood sugar (BS) level; 3) increasing the activities of AST, ALT, ALP, γ-GT, CPK in plasma; 4) increasing the total bilirubin, urea and creatinine coincided with decreasing the albumin level; 5) increasing the concentrations of the plasma lipid profile including; TGs, total CHOL, and LDL cholesterol; 6) increasing lipid peroxidation in the liver indicated by increasing the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), and decreasing the reduced glutathione (GSH) content and catalase activity, and 7) decreasing the plasma levels of T3 and T4, which were associated with increasing of TSH. Oral administration of NSO or TQ into CP-injected rats markedly ameliorated the overall CP-induced toxicity evidenced by: 1) the improvement in the body and liver weight; 2) normalization of [Hb] and (BS) levels; 3) amelioration of liver functions; and 4) the recovery of the lipid profile and plasma enzymes. The administration of NSO and TQ was associated with a decrease in the hepatic TBARS and increase in the GSH content, the beneficial effects of NSO and TQ could be attributed to their ability to scavenge or prevent the formation of the oxidative stress species. The results of this study indicate that the oral treatment with NSO or TQ, natural antioxidants, could be considered as adjuvant agents with anti-cancer drug such as CP to lower the associated toxicity.

Key words: Anti-oxidant, Nigella sativa, Thymoquinone, Cyclophosphamide, Liver function, Thyroid function, Oxidative stress

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