Silymarin, a chemical extracted from the herb milk thistle, is a widely known antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anti-carcinogenic. It suppresses the oxidative injury induced by trichloroethylene (TCE) which is considered as an environmental pollutant by increasing the endogenous antioxidant in animal tissues. Twenty four male albino rats were divided into (1) control, (2) silymarin-treated, (3) TCE-exposure, (4) and silymarin plus TCE combination groups. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzyme activities, and concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), urea and creatinine were analyzed. Additionally, lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde, MDA), nitric oxide (NO), reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in liver as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were measured. Liver Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn concentrations were also analyzed. TCE exposure increased serum ALT, AST, GGTP and ALP activities, TC, TGs, LDL-c, urea and creatinine concentrations, as well as MDA, NO, Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn concentration in liver, whereas it decreased SOD, GSH-Px activities, reduced GSH level in liver, and HDL-c in serum. Silymarin treatment significantly improved lipid peroxidation and oxidative injury induced by TCE. The study indicated that silymarin treatment ameliorate the harmful effect induced by TCE, taking in consideration the effect of silymarin as a free radical scavenger.
Liver; Rats; Silymarin; Trichloroethylene