Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Dec 21 ;9(1). Epub 2019 Dec 21. PMID: 31877779
Antagonistic Efficacy of Luteolin against Lead Acetate Exposure-Associated with Hepatotoxicity is Mediated via Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Anti-Apoptotic Activities.
The abundant use of lead (Pb; toxic heavy metal) worldwide has increased occupational and ecosystem exposure, with subsequent negative health effects. The flavonoid luteolin (LUT) found in many natural foodstuffs possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Herein, we hypothesized that LUT could mitigate liver damage induced by exposure to lead acetate (PbAc). Male Wistar rats were allocated to four groups: control group received normal saline, LUT-treated group (50 mg/kg, oral, daily), PbAc-treated group (20 mg/kg, i.p., daily), and LUT+PbAc-treated group (received the aforementioned doses via the respective routes of administration); the rats were treated for 7 days. The results revealed that PbAc exposure significantly increased hepatic Pb residue and serum activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and total bilirubin value. Oxidative reactions were observed in the liver tissue following PbAc intoxication, characterized by the depletion and downregulation of antioxidant proteins (glutathione, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, and heme oxygenase-1), and an increase in oxidants (malondialdehyde and nitric oxide). Additionally, PbAc increased the release and expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1 beta), inducible nitric oxide synthase, and nuclear factor kappa B. Moreover, PbAc enhanced hepatocyte loss by increasing the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and caspase-3) and downregulating the anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). The changes in the aforementioned parameters were further confirmed by noticeable histopathological lesions. LUT supplementation significantly reversed all of the tested parameters in comparison with the PbAc-exposed group. In conclusion, our findings describe the potential mechanisms involved in the alleviation of PbAc-induced liver injury by luteolin via its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties.