Therapeutic benefits of Indole-3-Carbinol in adjuvant-induced arthritis and its protective effect against methotrexate induced-hepatic toxicity.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Dec 19 ;18(1):337. Epub 2018 Dec 19. PMID: 30567538
BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) being an incapacitating disease requires early effective intervention. Considering Methotrexate (MTX)- the first line of treatment for RA- intoxicates the liver; therefore, alternative therapies with similar efficacy yet lower cytotoxicity are desired. Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) which is found in cruciferous vegetables was examined for its possible therapeutic potentials in comparison with MTX by investigating its anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-oxidant, and hepatoprotective potentials in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rat model.
METHODS: Arthritis was induced in Sprague Dawley rats by injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA). Arthritic rats were treated with I3C and/or MTX. To examine the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effect, the following parameters were assessed: body weight, macroscopic scoring of the hind paw, the level of the pivotal cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6) heavily involved in the pathogenesis, spleen index, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. At a histological level, the tibiotarsal joint was stained with several specific stains. To assess the hepatoprotective and anti-oxidant effects, several oxidative stress parameters were monitored, andthe liver histology was examined.
RESULTS: Both I3C and MTX attenuated the inflammation that was aggravated by arthritis by downregulating the inflammatory markers and mediators and alleviating the histopathological changes affecting the tibiotarsal joint. I3C attenuated the liver impairment that was initiated by arthritis and MTX treatment. It did so by downregulating the pro-oxidants and up-regulating the anti-oxidant defenses and by reducing the pathological changes affecting the liver.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that I3C is as potent as MTX as an anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent. In addition, I3C does so while protecting the liver from damage as opposed to MTX.