β-Sitosterol attenuates carbon tetrachloride–induced oxidative stress and chronic liver injury in rats

  • Ezhilarasan DevarajEmail author
  • Anitha Roy
  • Geetha Royapuram Veeraragavan
  • Anitha Magesh
  • Aneymol Varikalam Sleeba
  • Lakshminarayanan Arivarasu
  • Brundha Marimuthu Parasuraman
Original Article


Chronic liver diseases are clinically silent and responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. β-Sitosterol (BSS), major phytosterol in plants, has a wide spectrum of protective effect against various chronic ailments. We investigated the hepatoprotective effect of BSS against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)–induced chronic liver injury in rats. Thirty rats were divided into five groups, with six animals in each group. Group I rats served as control while groups II, III, IV, and V rats were injected intraperitoneally with CCl4 (0.2 mL/100 g b.w. in olive oil (1:1)) for 7 consecutive weeks. After 7 weeks, group II rats were left without any treatments and served as CCl4 alone group, while groups III, IV, and V rats were treated with BSS 25 and 50 mg/kg b.w. and silymarin 100 mg/kg b.w. as oral post-treatments respectively, for the next 4 weeks. At the end of the experiment, hepatotoxicity marker enzymes in serum, oxidative stress, and fibrosis marker were analyzed. CCl4 administration caused significant elevation of marker enzymes of hepatotoxicity in serum and increased lipid peroxidation and fibrosis markers such as hydroxyproline, collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, vimentin, desmin, and matrix metalloproteinases 9 in liver tissue of rats. This treatment also caused a significant diminution of intracellular enyzmic antioxidants such as SOD and CAT in the liver tissue of rats. All the above adversities were significantly mitigated by the BSS post-treatments. The results suggest that BSS could have a hepatoprotective effect against oxidative stress–mediated CLD induced by CCl4.


Phytosterols Hepatic fibrosis α-SMA Chronic liver diseases Oxidative stress 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Selvaraj for providing β-sitosterol as gratis.

Author contributions

DE conceived the idea. DE, RA, and AL performed the research. DE, MA, VSA, and RVG analyzed the parameters. MPB performed the histological analysis. DE analyzed the data, performed statistics, and wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the institutional animal ethics committee (IAEC No. SU/CLAR/RD/023/2017).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

210_2020_1810_MOESM1_ESM.txt (70 kb)
ESM 1 (TXT 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezhilarasan Devaraj
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anitha Roy
    • 1
  • Geetha Royapuram Veeraragavan
    • 2
  • Anitha Magesh
    • 3
  • Aneymol Varikalam Sleeba
    • 4
  • Lakshminarayanan Arivarasu
    • 1
  • Brundha Marimuthu Parasuraman
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Saveetha Dental CollegeSaveetha Institute of Medical and Technical SciencesChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Saveetha Dental CollegeSaveetha Institute of Medical and Technical SciencesChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Research and DevelopmentSaveetha Institute of Medical and Technical SciencesChennaiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, St. Xavier’s College for WomenAluvaIndia
  5. 5.Department of Pathology, Saveetha Medical CollegeSaveetha Institute of Medical and Technical SciencesChennaiIndia

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