Silymarin treatment reduces granuloma and hepatic fibrosis in experimental schistosomiasis
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The schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection with relevant social impact and an important health problem in many countries around world. The pathology of this infection is characterized by a granulomatous reaction around parasite eggs and by hepatic fibrosis. Silymarin, a complex compound isolated from Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner, have been described as hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antifibrotic, immunomodulator, and anti-neoplastic agent. Some of these capacities could potentially protect against pathology in schistosomiasis. Herein, we evaluated the effects of silymarin on parasite burden, granuloma sizes, and liver fibrosis, which are associated with severity and morbidity of this disease. BALB/c mice treated intraperitoneally with 10, 20, or 25 doses of silymarin (10 mg kg−1) suspended in carboxymethylcellulose were analyzed at 55 days post-infection. Silymarin (1) did not affect parasite oviposition capacity; (2) reduced granulomatous peri-ovular reaction in the liver, and (3) decreased hepatic fibrosis in this infection. Taken together, these data suggest that treatment with silymarin at acute phase of schistosomiasis may result in a mild course of murine schistosomiasis and can be a promising complementary treatment reverting sequelae of this infection.
This work was supported by FAPERJ, CNPq, and FAF/FECD/OncoII. The authors are grateful to Laboratório de Malacologia (FIOCRUZ-RJ) for the S. mansoni cercariae.
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