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Preventive effect of ethanolic extract of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladodes on methotrexate-induced oxidative damage of the small intestine in Wistar rats


1 Research Unit of "Valorization of Active Biomolecules", Genie Biology Department, Higher Institute of Applied Biology Medenine, University of Gabes; Research Unit of Functional Neurophysiology and Pathology, Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
2 Laboratory of Research on Histopathology, Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine Sfax, University Sfax, Tunisia
3 Research Unit of "Valorization of Active Biomolecules", Genie Biology Department, Higher Institute of Applied Biology Medenine, University of Gabes; Research Unit of Macromolecular Biochemistry and Genetics, Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Gafsa, University of Gafsa, Tunisia
4 Research Unit of Functional Neurophysiology and Pathology, Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Lazhar Zourgui,
Research Unit of "Valorization of Active Biomolecules", Higher Institute of Applied Biology Medenine, Route El Jorf, P.O. Box 522, 4119 Medenine
Tunisia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Context: Methotrexate (MTX) is a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic element for various inflammatory diseases. The cytotoxic effect of MTX is also seen in normal tissues having a high proliferation rate including gastrointestinal and bone marrow. Aims: The aim of this study was to find out whether oxidative damage could be relevant for MTX-induced toxicity in vivo using Wistar rats and to investigate the preventive potential of cactus cladodes. Materials and Methods: Adult and healthy male Wistar rats (200-250 g) were pretreated by ethanol fraction of cactus cladodes. Following a single dose of MTX (20 mg/kg), either vehicle (saline) or ethanolic (400 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally. All animals were killed 24 h after the intraperitoneal injection of MTX. Small intestine samples were collected for malondialdehyde (MDA) level, protein carbonyl generation, and peroxidase and catalase (CAT) activity measurement. The small intestine was also collected for histopathology analysis. Statistical Analysis Used: Each experiment was conducted in triplicate separately. Values were presented as a mean ± standard deviation. Differences were considered significant at P < 0.05. Results: Our results showed that MTX-induced significant alterations in oxidative stress markers noticed in the form of intestinal tissues damage, MDA level increased and protein carbonyls generation. CAT and peroxidase activities decreased with MTX administration. The combined treatment of MTX with cactus extracts showed a reduction of MTX-induced oxidative damage. Conclusions: It could be concluded that cactus cladodes extract was effective in protecting the small intestine against MTX-induced damage.


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    -  Akacha A
    -  Rebai T
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    -  Amri M
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