J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2022;11(1): 99-106.
doi: 10.34172/jhp.2022.11

Scopus ID: 85126035525
  Abstract View: 1453
  PDF Download: 445

Original Article

In-depth hepatoprotective mechanistic study of Echinacea purpurea flowers: In vitro and in vivo studies

Mostafa Abass Shalaby 1 ORCID logo, Hossny Awad Elbanna 1* ORCID logo, Salma Mostafa Mohamed 1 ORCID logo, Ghazal Nabil 1 ORCID logo, Ahmed Hossny Elbanna 2 ORCID logo

1 Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt
2 Pharmacology Department, Michael Sayegh Faculty of Pharmacy, Aqaba University of Technology, Jordan
*Corresponding Author: Email: drelbanna3@yahoo.com


Introduction: Echinacea purpurea is a flowering plant commonly used as an herbal medicine despite insufficient scientific bases to validate its usage. The present study aimed to examine in vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective effects of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of E. purpurea flowers. Methods: In vitro protection against hepato-cytotoxicity was carried out on human HepG-2 cells using colorimetric tetrazolium (MTT) assay, while the in vivo hepatoprotective activity was studied against carbon-tetrachloride (CCl4) induced acute hepatotoxicity in rats. Results: The results revealed that the extracts of E. purpurea induced discernable in vitro protection on HepG-2 cells and in vivo against CCl4 induced hepatotoxicity. Both extracts were significantly able to restore the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, total protein, and albumin to normal levels compared to the CCl4 intoxicated group. In addition, the extracts markedly mitigated the oxidative stress by decreasing Malondialdehyde (MDA) and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) markers compared to the CCl4 intoxicated group. It was also associated with the down-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in liver tissues. Histopathological examination revealed a decrease in hepatocytes’ degenerative changes and noticeable improvement of the liver damage by extracts of E. purpurea. Conclusion: These findings have proven that aqueous and alcoholic extracts of E. purpurea flowers have a significant hepatoprotective effect, probably owing to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activities, and regulating apoptotic-related genes. This confirms the ethnomedicinal uses of E. purpurea in patients suffering from liver diseases.

Echinacea purpurea flowers exhibited good hepatoprotective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Thus, this plant might be considered a candidate for bioassay-guided and isolation of bio-active compounds, which could possibly be developed into new lead structures for drug development programs against hepatic disorders.
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Submitted: 15 Apr 2021
Revision: 26 Jun 2021
Accepted: 28 Jun 2021
ePublished: 29 Nov 2021
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