BMC complementary and alternative medicine

Hepatoprotective effect of mulberry (Morus nigra) leaves extract against methotrexate induced hepatotoxicity in male albino rat.

PMID 26209437


Drug-induced liver injury is a major health problem that challenges not only health care professionals but also the pharmaceutical industry and drug regulatory agencies. The possible hepatoprotective effect of the administration of mulberry ethanolic extract (MUL) leaves against hepatotoxic effect of the anti-rheumatic drug, methotrexate (MTX) was evaluated in this study both vivo (using animal models) and in vitro (human hepatoma HepG2 cells). In the in-vivo study, 20 male albino rats were equally assigned into four groups; control group received distilled water orally; MUL treated-group received 500 mg/kg/day of MUL extract; MTX treated-group was injected with a single dose of 20 mg/kg MTX intraperitoneally on the 4th day; MUL-MTX treated-group received the previously mentioned doses of MUL and MTX (both control and MUL treated groups were administered a single dose of a physiological saline i.p.). At the end of the experimental period (14 days) activities of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) as well as total serum protein (TP) and albumin (ALB) levels were evaluated to assess liver function. A marked reduction in the viability of HepG2 cells was observed after 48 h with IC50 equal to 14.5 μg/mL of MUL administration. Treating the animals with MUL in combination with MTX mitigated liver injury, causing a significant reduction in activities of AST, ALT, ALP and LDH as compared to the MTX-group. The liver architecture revealed more or less normal appearance with the combined treatment when compared with MTX treatment alone. This study recommends that the co-administration of MUL with MTX that may have therapeutic benefits against MTX-hepato-cytotoxicity.