Zerumbone (ZER) is a major bioactive compound of Zingiber zerumbet
a wild ginger plant that has been documented to have anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and
anti-oxidant properties. To investigate its hepatoprotective potential, this study was designed to
determine the treatment effects of ZER on acute hepatotoxicity induced by paracetamol (PCM) in
The control group was administered with phosphate buffer solution (PBS) while
the other two groups received PCM alone (1000 mg/kg) and PCM + 25 mg/kg ZER, respectively,
at 0 h and 4 h after PCM injection. After 24 h, the blood and liver were collected for differential
white blood cell count, liver histological observation and biochemical analysis including alanine
aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total protein concentration in
serum and liver.
Treatment with ZER was found to significantly reduce ALT (P
= 0.041), AST (P
0.044) and total hepatic protein (P
= 0.045) in comparison to PCM-induced rats. Rats treated with
ZER exhibited the normal structure of hepatocytes with no vacuolisation or necrosis and showed
significantly reduced neutrophil count (P
= 0.037). This finding suggests its ability to suppress the
inflammatory processes caused by PCM overdosage and decrease the hepatocytes tendency to go
through necrotic processes.
ZER possessed protective activity against PCM-induced acute hepatotoxicity
in a rat model.