Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects of aloe vera in rats with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
World J Hepatol. 2020 Jul 27 ;12(7):363-377. PMID: 32821335
BACKGROUND: Aloe vera exerts several biological activities, such as, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. It was recently shown to reduce insulin resistance and triglyceride level. We hypothesized that aloe vera would have beneficial effects in alleviating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in rats.
AIM: To examine the therapeutic effects of aloe vera in NASH rats.
METHODS: All rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (= 6 in each group). Rats in the control group were fed ad libitum with a standard diet for 8 wk. Rats in the NASH group were fed ad libitum with a high-fat high-fructose diet (HFHFD) for 8 wk. Rats in the aloe vera group were fed ad libitum with a HFHFD and aloe vera in dimethylsulfoxide (50 mg/kg) by gavage daily for 8 wk. Liver samples were collected at the end of the treatment period.
RESULTS: Hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) levels increased significantly in the NASH group as compared with the control group (377± 77 nmol/mg129± 51 nmol/mg protein, respectively,<0.001). Glutathione (GSH) levels were significantly lower in the NASH group than the control group (9± 2 nmol/mg24± 8 nmol/mg protein, respectively,= 0.001). The expression of interleukin-18 (IL-18), nuclear factor-kappaβ, and caspase-3 increased, while peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma decreased in the NASH group compared with the controls. Following aloe vera administration, MDA levels decreased (199 ± 35 nmol/mg protein) and GSH increased (18 ± 4 nmol/mg protein) markedly. Steatosis, hepatocyteballooning, lobular inflammation and increased hepatocyte apoptosis were observed in the NASH group. Aloe vera treatment attenuated these changes in liver histology.
CONCLUSION: Aloe vera attenuated oxidative stress, hepatic inflammation and hepatocyte apoptosis, thus improving liver pathology in rats with NASH.