Joram Wardi, MD, Ram Reifen, MD, Hussein Aeed, PhD, Liliana Zadel, MD, Yona Avni, MD and Rafael Bruck, MD
Objective: To study whether retinolpalmitate, beta-carotene or lycopene could prevent liver cirrhosis induced by thioacetamide in rats.
Methods: In the control group liver cirrhosis was induced in male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injections of TAA 200 mg/ kg for 12 weeks. The three study groups received in addition to TM either beta-carotene, lycopene or retinolpalmitate by gavage through an orogastric tube. Histopathological analysis and determination of the hydroxyproline contents of the livers were performed at the end of the protocol.
Results: Rats treated with beta-carotene and TAA had lower histopathologic scores and reduced levels of hepatic hydroxyproline (P= 0.02) than those treated by TAA alone. A trend of decreased fibrosis was observed in the rats treated with lycopene and TAA although this lacked statistical significance.
Conclusions: Beta-carotene attenuated liver cirrhosis induced by TAA in rats. The mechanism may be related to effects on hepatic stellate cells or to scavenging of free radicals by beta-carotene. Retinolpalmitate and lycopen had no significant beneficial effect.