Propolis, a resinous wax-like beehive product has been used as a traditional remedy for various diseases due to a variety of biological activities of this folk medicine. In the present investigation, an attempt has been made to validate hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extract of propolis (50-400mg/kg, p.o.) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4,) 0.5 ml/kg, p.o.) induced acute liver injury in rats. Silymarin, a known hepatoprotective drug was used as a positive control. Administration of CCl(4) altered various diagnostically important biochemical variables. Multiple treatment of propolis significantly prevented the release of transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, urea and uric acid in serum; improved the activity of hepatic microsomal drug metabolizing enzymes, i.e., aniline hydroxylase and amidopyrine-N-demethylase; significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation and markedly enhanced glutathione in liver and kidney as well as brought altered carbohydrate contents (blood sugar and tissue glycogen), protein contents (serum, microsomal and tissue protein) and lipid contents (serum and tissue triglycerides, serum cholesterol, total and esterified cholesterol in tissue) towards control. Propolis treatment also reversed CCl(4) induced severe alterations in histoarchitecture of liver and kidney in a dose dependent manner. Hepatoprotective activity of propolis at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg was statistically compared to silymarin and found that propolis exhibited better effectiveness than silymarin in certain parameters, concluded its hepatoprotective potential.
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