Vitamin C as well as <tex>$\beta$</tex>-carotene attenuates experimental liver fibrosis after intoxication with carbon tetrachloride in rats
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
International journal of biological and chemical sciences
, p. 559-571
University of Antwerp
The therapeutic effects of vitamin C and β-carotene on chronic liver diseases have not yet been fully demonstrated and their application as dietary intakes or supplements lacks strong experimental backing. We aimed at investigating the therapeutic efficacy of these vitamins on hepatic fibrogenesis caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-intoxication in rats. Four groups of albino rats were used: group 1 (control) received only saline, whereas groups 2-4 were injected intraperitoneally with 0.5 mL/kg body weight CCl4 every 3 days plus pentobarbital (0.3 mg/L) in drinking water for 10 weeks; after which CCl4 and pentobarbital were stopped and the animals in group 2 were allowed to rest, while those in groups 3 and 4 were treated with intramuscular injections (100 mg/kg/day) of vitamins C and β-carotene, respectively, for further 2 weeks. CCl4 plus pentobarbital resulted in well established fibrosis associated with notable steatosis and ballooning. Treatment with vitamin C or β-carotene modulated CCl4-induced liver pathology, as reflected by significantly lower histological scores (p<0.05). Vitamin C intervention was also associated with significantly lower levels of liver enzymes, unlike β-carotene. We conclude that compared to β-carotene, vitamin C significantly ameliorated both biochemical and histological changes in CCl4-induced liver disease and that both vitamins separately attenuated liver fibrosis.