Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To investigate the effect of Viscum album, a plant used for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma that has immune-modulating properties, on acute hepatic injury in rats. Materials and methods: Hepatotoxicity was induced by CCl_4 orally (0.28 mL/kg). Rats received either Viscum album at 1 of 2 dose levels (0.1 or 0.2 mL/kg) once weekly subcutaneously alone or with silymarin (25 mg/kg, orally), or silymarin (25 mg/kg) once daily orally for 1 month, starting at the time of administration of CCl_4. Liver damage was assessed by determining liver serum enzyme activities and by hepatic histopathology. Results: Viscum album administration decreased the increases in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and also prevented the development of hepatic necrosis caused by CCl_4. The effect of Viscum album was dose-dependent. Viscum album administered at 0.1 or 0.2 mL/kg caused significant reduction in the elevated plasma ALT by 51.2% and 65.6%, AST by 52.6% and 61.1%, and ALP by 27.7% and 57.6%, respectively. In comparison, the elevated serum ALT, AST, and ALP levels decreased to 48.9%, 51.8%, and 30.8% of the controls, respectively, with 25 mg/kg of silymarin. Viscum album (0.2 mL/kg) administered together with silymarin resulted in 73.1%, 67.6%, and 65.8% decreases in serum ALT, AST, and ALP levels, respectively. Histopathologic examination of the livers of rats treated with CCl_4 and administered Viscum album at 0.2 mL/kg showed marked restoration of the normal architecture of the liver tissue with minimal fibrosis. Conclusion: Results of the present study indicate that the administration of Viscum album in a model of liver injury induced by CCl_4 in rats results in less liver damage.


Viscum album, hepatic injury, rat, CCl_4

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