Volume 71 (2009) Issue 7 Pages 885-890
Paramylon is a β-(1-3)-D-glucan isolated from Euglena gracilis Z. This study was designed to evaluate the protective effects of paramylon on liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats. Wistar stain male rats were orally administered paramylon (500, 1,000 and 2,000 mg/kg body weight) before treatment with a single intraperitoneal dose of 50% CCl4 (2 ml/kg body weight). The rats were sacrificed 24 hr later, and blood samples were collected for assay of serum biochemical parameters. The livers were excised to evaluate the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Histopathological examination of the livers was also performed. The results showed that the treatment of paramylon prevented elevation of the serum levels of hepatic enzyme markers and inhibited fatty degeneration and hepatic necrosis induced by CCl4. Pre-administration of paramylon reduced the liver apoptotic index. The treatment of paramylon recovered reductions of activity of hepatic superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase induced by CCl4. These results demonstrate that paramylon exhibits protective action on acute hepatic injury induced by CCl4 via an antioxidative mechanism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a hepatoprotective effect based on the antioxidative action of paramylon.