Milk Thistle and Liver Damage abstract ...

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Date: May 22, 2005 04:32 PM
Subject: Milk Thistle and Liver Damage abstract ...

Silymarin Protects Against Liver Damage in BALB/c Mice Exposed to Fumonisin B1 Despite Increasing Accumulation of Free Sphingoid Bases

Quanren He, Jiyoung Kim, and Raghubir P. Sharma,1 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-7389

This study showed that silymarin prevented FB1-induced liver injury and the overexpressions of selected genes for TNF-superfamily and IFNg.FB1 increased free sphingoid bases in tissues via the inhibition of ceramide synthase (Merrill et al., 1993; Wang et al., 1991). Free sphingoid bases could mediate cell death following FB1 treatment (Schmelz et al., 339 SILYMARIN PROTECTS AGAINST FUMONISIN HEPATOTOXICITY TABLE 2 Activity of Serine Palmitoyltransferase (SPT) in Liver and Kidney of Mice Following FB1 Exposurea Treatment Hepatic SPT activity Renal SPT activity Control 186.2 6 21.4 325.4 63.5 FB1 267.5 24.6* 319.5 14.8 Silymarin 80.0 12.9*,# 220.3 19.4*,# Silymarin 1 FB1 71.0 15.6*,# 251.1 13.6 aActivity of SPT is expressed as pmol product/min. mg protein. Data are presented as mean SE. *p 5 0.05 compared to control; # p 5 0.05 compared to FB1 treatment. 1998; Tolleson et al., 1999). In contrast to its inhibitory effects on liver damage and selected gene induction, silymarin dramatically increased FB1-induced accumulation of free sphingoid bases. The FB1-induced alterations in mouse liver were similar to those reported previously employing similar protocols (Sharma et al., 1997, 2003a,b). The only difference in treatments was the duration (3 vs. 5 days in former reports) and gender (females in the current experiments). Exposure of mice to FB1 caused the appearance of apoptotic cells in liver with no other noticeable alterations. The PCNA-positive cells were also increased in FB1treated mice.

In conclusion, we have clearly demonstrated that silymarin plays a protective role in FB1 hepatotoxicity in a mouse model. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of silymarin in fumonisin liver injury in humans or animals exposed to fumo-nisin-producing, fungus-contaminated feeds. The efficacy of silymarin in the protection from liver damage after long-term exposure to the mycotoxin still needs to be studied.

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