Saudi Med J, 2010 Oct;31(10):1106-13
OBJECTIVE: To study the biochemical and molecular hepatotoxicity induced by aluminium chloride (AlCl3) and the protective role of saffron and honey against such toxicity.
METHODS: This study was performed in the Department of Biology, College of Science, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between July and August 2009. Two mice strains, BALB/c and C57BL/6 (20 animals from each strain), were used and randomly divided into 4 groups: control group; AlCl3 group; AlCl3+saffron group; and AlCl3+honey group. Changes in liver biochemical markers such as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin and lipid peroxidation levels were estimated. Induced and suppressed mRNA in the liver homogenate was scanned followed by up- and down- regulated genes were isolated, cloned, and sequenced.
RESULTS: There was a significant increase in the cholesterol levels, triglycerides, GGT, ALT, AST, ALP, lipid peroxidation, and presence of hyperglycemia in the AlCl3 group compared to the control. However, treating those animals exposed to AlCl3 by saffron and honey improved the disrupted liver biochemical markers and alleviated the increase of lipid peroxidation. Seven down-regulated genes (3 BALB/c and 4 C57BL/6) and 5 up-regulated genes (2 BALB/c and 3 C57BL/6) were observed. Aa2-245 gene was observed as being up-regulated in AlCl3+ saffron and AlCl3+honey groups in the BALB/c strain.
CONCLUSION: The use of saffron and honey minimized the toxic effect of AlCl3 in the liver by alleviating its disruptive effect on the biochemical and molecular levels.