Metabolic profile and hepatoprotective effect of Aeschynomene elaphroxylon (Guill. & Perr.)
Liver diseases are life-threatening and need urgent medical treatments. Conventional treatment is expensive and toxic, so the urge for nutraceutical hepatoprotective agents is crucial. This study is considered the first metabolic profile of Aeschynomene elaphroxylon (Guill. & Perr.) extracts of; flowers, leaves & bark adopting UPLC-Orbitrap HRMS analysis to determine their bioactive metabolites, and it was designed to investigate the potential hepatoprotective activity of A. elaphroxylon flowers and bark extracts against CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats. Forty-nine compounds of various classes were detected in the three extracts, with triterpenoid saponins as the major detected metabolite. Flowers and bark extracts presented similar chemical profile while leaves extract was quite different. The antioxidant activities of the flowers, leaves & bark extracts were measured by in vitro assays as Fe+3 reducing antioxidant power and Oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It revealed that flowers and bark extracts had relatively high antioxidant activity as compared to leaves extract. Based on the metabolic profile and in vitro antioxidant activity, flowers and bark ethanolic extracts were chosen for alleviation of hepatotoxicity induced by CCl4 in rats. The hepatoprotective activity was studied through measuring hepatotoxicity biomarkers in serum (ALT, AST, and Albumin). Liver tissues were examined histopathologically and their homogenates were used in determining the intracellular levels of oxidative stress biomarkers (MDA, GSH), inflammatory markers (TNF-α). Flowers and bark ethanolic extracts exerted a significant hepatoprotective effect through reduction in the activities of ALT, AST and Albumin, the tested extracts reduced oxidative stress by increasing GSH content and reducing the MDA level. Furthermore, the extracts decreased levels of pro-inflammatory TNF-α. Moreover, the present study revealed the potentiality of A. elaphroxylon in ameliorating the CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats. In this aspect, A. elaphroxylon can be used with other agents as a complementary drug.