Steroidal Saponins as Antioxidant and Alleviator of CCl4-Induced Oxidative Damage in Albino Rats

Document Type : Original Article


Agricultural Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, P.O. Box 68, Hadayek Shoubra 11241, Cairo, Egypt


Liver toxicity is a common condition that can be induced by environmental pollutants. The present study explored the hepatoprotective activity of steroidal saponins extracted from the yam plant versus CC14-induced hepatotoxicity in albino rats. Twenty-five albino rats were classified into 5 groups. Rats of group (G1) were provided a basal diet and drinking water and served as un-treated controls. Other groups were administered CC14 orally twice a week at a dose of 400 mg/kg. The second group (G2) did not receive any further treatment and served as positive controls while rats in the groups G3, G4 and G5 were administered saponins (50,100 and 200 mg/kg body weight, respectively) for six weeks in the remaining groups. The hepatoprotective activity of saponins was assessed by measurement of liver enzymes, kidney function tests, malondialdehyde content, and antioxidant defense enzymes activities in serum of these rats. Saponins administration improved liver and renal function and significantly increased the activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), glutathione reductase GSH-RD and superoxide dismutase SOD. These increases were linked to a considerable decrease in serum malondialdehyde levels, indicating that lipid peroxidation was being mitigated. Thus, the concentration of saponins (200 mg/kg) is the best concentration of protection against CC14-induced hepatic injury, improved liver and renal function, and reduced oxidative stress in rats.