Chemoprevention with aqueous extract of Butea monosperma flowers results in normalization of nuclear morphometry and inhibition of a proliferation marker in liver tumors.
Phytother Res. 2011 Mar ;25(3):324-8. PMID: 20669187
Butea monosperma (Lam.) (family: Fabaceae) popularly known as 'Palas' or 'fire of forest' has been used traditionally as a hepatoprotective agent. This study evaluated the hepatoprotective and antitumorigenic properties of the aqueous extract and butanol fractions of B. monosperma flowers in animal models. Dried flowers of B. monosperma were extracted with water and fractionated further using n-butanol. The hepatoprotective activity of the aqueous extract was initially confirmed in a carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage model of rats. Oral administration of the aqueous extract produced a strong hepatoprotective effect similar to silymarin and normalized the serum levels of ALT, AST, bilirubin and triglyceride in rats. However, it did not affect the levels of glutathione and malondialdehyde which are oxidative stress markers in liver. Intraperitoneal administration of the aqueous extract in the X15-myc oncomice not only maintained liver architecture and nuclear morphometry but also down-regulated the serum VEGF levels. Immunohistochemical staining of liver sections with anti-Ribosomal protein S27a antibody showed post-treatment abolition of this proliferation marker from the tumor tissue. The butanol fractions, however, did not show antitumorigenic activity. Thus, the aqueous extract of B. monosperma flowers is not only hepatoprotective but also antitumorigenic by preserving the nuclear morphometry of the liver.