Hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of silibinin on experimental preeclampsia induced by 1-NAME in rats
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Aims: Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with N-omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) has been employed as an experimental model of human preeclampsia. This study determined the protective effect of silibinin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties on the deleterious effects observed in experimentally induced preeclampsia in rats.Main methods: Pregnant Wistar rats were treated during gestation (days 10-20) with L-NAME (70-80 mg/kg/day) in drinking water or with L-NAME plus silibinin (100 mg/kg/day, orally) starting at day 0, day 7 or day 14 of pregnancy. Systolic blood pressure was recorded from gestation days 0 to 21. A control group of pregnant non-treated rats was analyzed similarly. on day 21 the rats were euthanized and the following parameters were evaluated: proteinuria, platelet count, liver histopathology and reproductive outcome. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1 beta), IL-6, IL-10 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were determined in liver homogenate by enzyme immunoassay.Key findings: In comparison with the L-NAME group the silibinin treatment reduced the values of systolic blood pressure, proteinuria, INF-alpha, IL-1 beta and IFN-gamma in liver, normalized the platelet count and improved fetal outcomes. Histopathological lesions in liver of the L-NAME group showed intense mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate and thickening of muscle tunica of arterial vessel, mainly in the periportal area. Silibinin treatment induced attenuation of periportal inflammatory infiltrate, showing an association between inflammatory infiltrate and TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta and IFN-gamma levels in liver homogenate.Significance: Silibinin administration to L-NAME-treated rats displays anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatoty actions that may contribute to its hepatoprotective effects and improve reproductive outcomes in experimental preeclampsia. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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