Therapeutic effect of alpha lipoic acid combined with praziquantel on liver fibrosis induced by Schistosoma mansoni challenged mice
Schistosomiasis is an endemic disease in 74 countries causing more than 250,000 deaths every year. Accordingly, the development of an effective drug for eradication of schistosomiasis is an open research field. The current chemotherapy for control is praziquantel (PZQ). However, PZQ does not improve liver fibrosis. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the combined effect of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) with PZQ on the liver fibrosis induced by Schistosoma mansoni challenged mice. Evaluation was based on the worm burden count, ova load, granuloma size, and histopathology of the liver. Reduced glutathione (GSH) was measured in the tissue as a biomarker for impaired antioxidant function. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was also measured in the tissue as a biomarker for oxidative stress. The serum level of matrix metalloproteinase 1 was measured as a biomarker for fibrotic status of the liver. Liver function enzymes such as ALT, AST, and GGT were also measured. Four groups of ten mice each were used in this study. The first group was infected with 50 ± 10 S. mansoni cercariae. The second group was also infected and was treated with PZQ 9 weeks post-infection (PI). The third group was treated with PZQ and ALA 9 weeks PI. The fourth group was used a healthy control. The present study revealed remarkable improvement in all parameters measured (parasitological and biochemical) as well as significant improvement of hepatic pathology in the third group which was treated with PZQ and ALA. The treatment of mice with PZQ and ALA results in reduction in the worm burden, egg count, and granuloma size. Furthermore, this combined treatment increased the tissue level of the antioxidant (GSH) and decreased the tissue level of MDA in this group.
KeywordsLiver Fibrosis Schistosomiasis Praziquantel Infected Group Worm Burden
The authors would like to thank Prof. Nabil S. Gabr, Head of the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Egypt, for his continuous advice in technical procedures. Thanks are extended to Prof. Nawras M. Mowafy, Professor of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University for her guiding us through the technical procedures. The authors would also like to thank Prof. Refaat M. A. Khalifa, Professor of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University for his continuous advice.
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