Hepatoprotective Effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha Fruits against Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Damage.
Nutrients. 2016 Oct 4 ;8(10). Epub 2016 Oct 4. PMID: 27782042
Herson Antonio González-Ponce
Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure (ALF) is a serious health problem in developed countries. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the current therapy for APAP-induced ALF, is not always effective, and liver transplantation is often needed. Opuntia spp. fruits are an important source of nutrients and contain high levels of bioactive compounds, including antioxidants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha extracts against APAP-induced ALF. In addition, we analyzed the antioxidant activities of these extracts. Fruit extracts (800mg/kg/day, orally) were given prophylactically to male Wistar rats before intoxication with APAP (500 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Rat hepatocyte cultures were exposed to 20mmol/LAPAP, and necrosis was assessed by LDH leakage. Opuntia robusta had signiﬁcantly higher levels of antioxidants than Opuntia streptacantha. Both extracts signiﬁcantly attenuated APAP-induced injury markers AST, ALT and ALP and improved liver histology. The Opuntia extracts reversed APAP-induced depletion of liver GSH and glycogen stores. In cultured hepatocytes, Opuntia extracts signiﬁcantly reduced leakage of LDH and cell necrosis, both prophylactically and therapeutically. Both extracts appeared to be superior to NAC when used therapeutically. We conclude that Opuntia extracts are hepatoprotective and can be used as a nutraceutical to prevent ALF.