Alteration in Antioxidant Enzyme Activities by Nickel-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Wistar Rats: Ameliorating Effect of the Aqueous Extract of Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)

Joseph Mordi, Ugochukwu Uzuegbu, Ambrose Okunima


The ameliorating effect of Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) on lipid peroxidation (LOP), reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione-s-transferaes (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), Catalase (CAT), Superoxide dismutase (SOD) as well as some liver marker enzymes were examined using a model of NiCl2–induced oxidative stress in rats. Thirty male Wistar rats were used in this study. They were randomized into 5 groups of six rats per group. Animals in group I received distilled water and normal rat feed only. Rats in groups II and III received only 0.75 mg/kg/day and 1.5 mg/kg/day of NiCl2 respectively. All rats in groups IV and V were pretreated with 200 mg/kg body weight and 300mg/kg body weight of the aqueous extract of Myristica fragrans (AEMF) respectively. In addition to the doses of the extracts administered to the above groups, group IV rats received 0.75 mg/kg/day of NiCl2 while group V animals were treated with 1.5 mg/kg/day of NiCl2. All administration was carried out by gastric intubation for 30days. NiCl2 caused significant increase (p<0.05) in the level of MDA formation in the liver, suggesting pro-oxidant induced membrane damage. These were followed by a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the levels of GSH, GPx, GST, SOD and CAT. The aqueous extract of Myristica fragrans (AEMF) in a dose related manner, significantly (p<0.05) reduce the level of MDA as well as the antioxidant markers to a near constant value when compared with the control. Pretreatment with AEMF also led to a significant decrease (p<0.05) in liver marker enzymes (ALT, ALP, AST, LDH, GGT and CK) when compared with the NiCl2 treated rats in a dose-dependent manner. Upon the administration of AEMF, histological examination did not reveal much pathophysiological changes when compared with the control.

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