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Cigarette smoking became an important cause of increased mortality and morbidity in developed countries. Nicotine is the principal alkaloid contained in tobacco. People who smoke and also who are exposed to cigarette smoke indirectly by breathing the air in the same environment are exposed to nicotine induced oxidative stress. Nicotine increases the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, chronic liver diseases and nephrotoxicity.
Rosemary extracts have a high scavenging capacity of different types of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, mostly free radicals. The antioxidant activity of rosemary extract can be attributed to carnosic acid, carnosol and other antioxidants (Fig. 1). It is useful in prevention of hepatotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity.
The present work aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of aqueous extract of rosemary as a natural source of antioxidants to minimize the harmful effects of nicotine induced hepatorenal toxicity in Guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs that received intraperitoneal injection of 6 mg nicotine/kg body weight daily for 30 days had significantly (p<0.05) increased the serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and γ- glutamyl transferase activities, urea, uric acid, creatinine, and potassium ion concentration than those in the control animals (Fig.2). On the other hand, serum total proteins, albumin, and sodium ion concentrations of nicotine treated animals was significantly (p<0.05) decreased as compared to the control animals (Fig.2). But, globulin concentrations and A/G ratio were non significantly changed (Fig.2).
Co-administration of rosemary significantly improved of all biochemical parameters. It is recommended that the heavy smokers should be advised to take rosemary as a natural source of antioxidant to prevent the hepatorenal toxicity induced by nicotine. Further studies are necessary to potential usefulness of aqueous extract of rosemary as a protective agent against nicotine induced hepatorenal toxicity in clinical trials.
Fig. 1: Structure of some antioxidant compounds in rosemary
Figure.2: Effect of administration of Guinea pigs to aqueous extract of rosemary and/or nicotine on: A: serum enzymes activities, B:Serum Proteins concentrations, B: serum kidney function parameters
Authors: Assistant Professor Azab Elsayed Azab, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Alejelat, Zawia University, Libya.
Co-author: Assistant Professor Mohamed Omar Albasha, and Head of Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Alejelat, Zawia University, Libya.
A paper about the study appeared recently in American Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering.