Objectives: The use of natural products derived from plants for therapeutic purpose is as ancient as human civilization. Sandbox tree, Hura crepitans L. (Euphorbiaceae) is one of such plant and has been reported to have many ethnomedicinal applications especially as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antihepatotoxic effects. This recent study was designed to determine the anti-hepatotoxic activity of the ethylacetate soluble fraction of the leaves and stem bark of H. crepitans and to isolate secondary metabolites.
Methods: Chromatographic technique was used for isolation and Ultraviolet-Visible (UV), Infra-red (IR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopies were used for structural elucidation. Anti-hepatotoxicity study was carried out using carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced rat model and biochemical parameters: alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), L-γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), urea and creatinine (CREA) were assayed on the serum. Phytomicrographs of the liver samples were also taken and analyzed.
Results: Our present study showed that biochemical studies of blood samples of CCl4 treated rats with value 105.0±0.001 AU inALT showed significant increase in the level of serum enzyme activities reflecting liver injury but, 69.0±13.23 AU for leaves and 53.3±2.52 AU for bark (p<0.05) indicated protection of hepatic cells. AST, GGT, urea and CREA also reduced significantly. Daphnane diterpenes, daphnetoxin acid and huratoxin were isolated from H. crepitans in this recent study along with apocynin and methylpentadecanoate.
Conclusion: H. crepitans significantly reduced the level of biochemical parameters indicating protection against hepatocellular injury. Isolates obtained from this plant could also serve as lead compounds in therapy of diseases involving hepatic injury.
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