EFFECT OF SILYMARIN ON SERUM LEVELS OF ALT AND GGT IN ETHANOL INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN ALBINO RATS

Muhammad Habib-ur- Rehman, Tariq Mahmood, Taher Salim, Naeema Afzal, Nasir Ali, Javed Iqbal, Muhammad Tahir, Asif Khan

Abstract


Background: Alcoholic liver disease is a worldwide health problem. At least 80% of heavy
drinkers have been reported to develop steatosis, 10–35% alcoholic hepatitis, and approximately
10% liver cirrhosis. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of silymarin on the
levels of serum ALT and GGT in ethanol induced hepatotoxicity in albino rats. This study was an
experimental Randomised Control Trial (RCT), and was conducted at the experimental research
laboratory of University of Health Sciences, Lahore, from January 2007 to December 2007.
Methods: Eighteen male albino rats of 6–8 weeks age, weighing 150–200 gm each were divided
into 3 groups of 6 rats each. Group A served as control, Group B was given ethanol at a dose of 0.6
ml (0.5 gm)/100 gm/day and group C was given ethanol and silymarin at a dose of 0.5 gm/100
gm/day, and 20 mg/100 gm/day respectively for 8 weeks. At the end of the experiment, each
animal was euthenised with chloroform. Blood was drawn from each animal by cardiac puncture
for liver function tests (ALT and GGT). After taking blood sample, each euthenised animal was
sacrificed and then its liver was removed for gross and histological examination. Results: The
mean values of serum alanine-aminotransferase (ALT) in groups A, B and C were 28.16±7.13,
82.33±10.89 and 49.66±6.12 U/L respectively, whereas, the mean values of gamma-glutamyl
transferase (GGT) in groups A, B and C were 27.33±3.05, 79.33±4.37 and 45.66±1.85 U/L
respectively. ANOVA showed significant (p<0.05) difference in mean value of these serum
enzymes among groups. Post Hoc test, using the Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD)
showed that there was significant (p<0.05) increase in mean value of ALT and GGT in group B as
compared to group A and C. This test also showed that there was significant (p<0.05) decrease in
mean value of these enzymes in-group C as compared to group B. Conclusion: Silymarin tends to
normalise liver function test in alcoholic liver disease.
Keywords: Ethanol, Silymarin, Alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

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