Bicyclol and silymarin are widely used in the treatment of various liver diseases; however, there is no report on comparative effect of them on liver fibrosis. To compare their liver protective effect, liver fibrosis rats induced by bile duct ligation (BDL) were orally treated with 100 mg/kg bicyclol and 100 mg/kg silymarin respectively for 4 weeks. Liver index, liver function activities, inflammatory biomarkers, fibrotic biomarkers and liver histopathology were assessed. BDL induced marked histopathological changes in liver tissues coupled with changes in serum biochemistry. Furthermore, hepatic content of hydroxyproline, transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were elevated, together with a reduction of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) in the liver. In addition, BDL increased the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Treatment with bicyclol or silymarin protected against BDL induced liver fibrosis, as proved by the alleviation of inflammatory and fibrotic biomarkers. Overall, our results indicated that the effect of bicyclol was better than that of silymarin.
Key words: Liver fibrosis, bile duct ligation, bicyclol, silymarin, comparative effect.
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