23. Effect of a lignan-enriched extract of Schisandra chinensis on aflatoxin B1 and cadmium chloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

Ip SP, Mak DH, Li PC, Poon MK, Ko KM.

Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong.

Treatment of rats with a lignan-enriched extract of the fruit of Schisandra chinensis could enhance hepatic antioxidant/detoxification system, as indicated by increases in hepatic reduced glutathione (GSH) level as well as hepatic glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase activities. The hepatoprotective action was evident after aflatoxin beta 1 or cadmium chloride (Cd) challenge. Schisandra chinensis pretreatment protected against aflatoxin B1-or Cd-induced hepatocellular damage in rats. However, pretreating rats with alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E) did not protect against hepatic damage induced by both toxins. Results from the present as well as our previous studies demonstrate that the hepatoprotection afforded by Schisandra chinensis pretreatment is not hepatotoxin specific. Schisandra chinensis seems to be more effective than vitamin E in protecting against aflatoxin B1 and Cd toxicity. The mechanism of hepatoprotection afforded by Schisandra chinensis pretreatment may involve facilitation of both antioxidant and detoxification processes in the liver.