Acta Biol Hung. 2007 (Dec); 58 (4): 411–419
Abdel Salam OM, Oraby FH, Hassan NS.
Department of Pharmacology,
National Research Centre,
Tahrir St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Vinpocetine is a widely used drug for the treatment of cerebrovascular and memory disorders. This study aimed to investigate the effect of vinpocetine on the acute hepatic injury caused in the rat by the administration of CCl4 in vivo. Vinpocetine (2.1, 4.2, 8.4 mg/kg) or silymarin (30 mg/kg) was given once daily orally simultaneously with CCl4 and for 15 days thereafter. Liver damage was assessed by determining serum enzyme activities and hepatic histopathology. Stained sections were subjected to morphometric evaluation using computerized image analyzer. The results showed that vinpocetine administered to CCl4-treated rats decreased the elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) by 49.3, 58.1 and 63.6%, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) by 10.5, 22.6 and 27.2% and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) by 52.5, 59.6 and 64.9%, respectively, and in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, silymarin reduced elevated ALT, AST and ALP levels by 53.1, 26.9 and 66%, respectively. Histological examination of liver specimens revealed a marked reduction in liver cell necrosis in vinpocetine and silymarin-treated rats compared with vehicle-treated CCl4-treated rats. Quantitative analysis of the area of damage showed 85.3% reduction in the area of damage after silymarin and 72.2, 78.9 and 82.6% reduction after vinpocetine treatment at 2.1, 4.2, 8.4 mg/kg, respectively. It is concluded that administration of vinpocetine in a model of CCl4-induced liver injury in rats reduced liver damage. The reduction obtained by 4.2 mg/kg of vinpocetine was similar to that obtained by 30 mg/kg silymarin. Therefore, it is suggested that vinpocetine might be a good pharmacological agent in the treatment of liver disease besides its neuroprotective effects.