Protective effect of Nasturtium officinale R. Br and quercetin against cyclophosphamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats


Cyclophosphamide (CPA) is used in the management of autoimmune conditions and malignant illnesses. However, its therapeutic use is limited because of its severe side effects, especially hepatotoxicity attributed to oxidative stress. Nasturtium officinale R. Br (watercress or WC) has pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammation, and antioxidant activities. Therefore, the present study was design to assess effects of WC or its active ingredient, quercetin (QE), against CPA-induced hepatotoxicity. For this study, 49 male Wistar rats (200–250 g) were randomly selected and categorized into seven equal groups. The animals were pre- and post-treated with both hydroalcoholic extract of WC (500 mg/kg) and quercetin (75 mg/kg) for 10 consecutive days, and intraperitoneal administration of CPA (200 mg/kg) was performed on only day 10, one hour before the last dose of WC or quercetin. On day 11, all the animals were sacrificed, and their blood and liver were gathered for evaluation of the liver enzyme, hepatic oxidative stress markers, antioxidant enzymes activity, and hematoxylin and eosin staining. CPA significantly increased malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PCO) and nitric oxide (NO) levels and liver biomarkers. Otherwise, hepatic catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH), total thiol content (tSH), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were considerably lower than the control group. Results showed that WC has the ability to reduce the changes (MDA, PCO, FRAP, CAT, ALT and AST) and QE (MDA, PCO, AST) induced by CPA (p < 0.05). Histopathological finding confirmed the indicated results. These findings propose that WC and QE have protective effect against the CPA-induced hepatotoxicity by decreasing oxidative stress.

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The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.

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HS—designed the research. AA, EPK, HV and BK—carried out the experiments. AA—performed HPLC analysis of Nasturtium officinale R.Br extract. MJB—performed histopathological analysis. AHD and AA—wrote the manuscript. HS, AHD and AA—revised the manuscript. All the listed authors have read and approved the submitted manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hossein Sadeghi or Arash Asfaram.

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Doustimotlagh, A.H., Kokhdan, E.P., Vakilpour, H. et al. Protective effect of Nasturtium officinale R. Br and quercetin against cyclophosphamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Mol Biol Rep (2020).

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  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Liver
  • Nasturtium officinale R. Br
  • Oxidative stress
  • Rats