Esculetin prevents liver damage induced by paracetamol and CCL4

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Esculetin, a phenolic compound found in Cichorium intybus and Bougainvllra spectabillis was investigated for its possible protective effect against paracetamol and CCl4-induced hepatic damage. Paracetamol produced 100% mortality at the dose of 1 g kg-1 in mice while pre-treatment of animals with esculetin (6 mg kg-1) reduced the death rate to 40%. Oral administration of paracetamol (640 mg kg-1) produced liver damage in rats as manifested by the rise in serum enzyme levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aminotransferases (AST and ALT). Pre-treatment of rats with esculetin (6 mg kg-1) prevented the paracetamol-induced rise in serum enzymes. The hepatotoxic dose of CCl4 (1.5 ml kg-1; orally) also raised serum ALP, AST and ALT levels. The same dose of esculetin (6 mg kg-1) was able to prevent the CCl4-induced rise in serum enzymes. Esculetin also prevented CCl4-induced prolongation in pentobarbital sleeping time confirming hepatoprotectivity. These results indicate that esculetin possesses anti-hepatotoxic activity and the presence of this compound in Cichorium intybus and Bougainvllra spectabillis may explain the folkloric use of these plants in liver damage.


Pharmacological Research