The present study was undertaken to evaluate the possible ameliorating effect of crocin and curcumin on certain biochemical alterations associated with iron overload-induced liver injury in rats. 5 groups of rats were used, a normal control group received daily i.p. injections of saline and 4 groups received daily i.p. injections of ferric nitrilotriacetate (FeNTA) for 8 successive days, the dose of iron was increased during the experimental period (from 6 to 15 mg Fe/kg). The first iron overloaded group kept without further treatment and served as a positive control group. The second iron overloaded group received daily i.p injections of crocin (200 mg/kg ) in saline. The 3rd and the 4th iron overloaded groups received orally either 0.5% carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) or curcumin (100 mg/kg) in CMC respectively. Treatment started 3 days before and concurrently with iron administration for 8 days. Results revealed that iron-induced liver injury was reflected by significant changes in the liver function indices, hyperammonemia and reduced serum urea level. A significant deposition of iron in liver was associated with enhanced oxidative and nitrosative stress status. Moreover, iron overloaded rats exhibited significant alterations in liver energy metabolism together withdiminished ureogenesis and a decline in dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolaseactivity. Supplementation with either crocin or curcumin ameliorated most of the biochemical changes induced by iron overload in rat liver. A function that may be beneficial for populations at risk for iron overload.
Key words: Iron overload, liver, rat, oxidative stress, energy metabolism, ureogenesis, crocin, curcumin.
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