Beta-carotene attenuates experimentally induced liver cirrhosis in rats.

J. Wardi*, R. Reifen, H. Aeed, L. Zadel, Y. Avni, R. Bruck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To study whether retinolpalmitate, beta-carotene or lycopene could prevent liver cirrhosis induced by thioacetamide in rats. METHODS: In the control group liver cirrhosis was induced in male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injections of TAA 200 mg/kg for 12 weeks. The three study groups received in addition to TAA either beta-carotene, lycopene or retinopalmitate by gavage through an orogastric tube. Histopathological analysis and determination of the hydroxyproline contents of the livers were performed at the end of the protocol. RESULTS: Rats treated with beta-carotene and TAA had lower histopathologic scores and reduced levels of hepatic hydroxyproline (P = 0.02) than those treated by TAA alone. A trend of decreased fibrosis was observed in the rats treated with lycopene and TAA although this lacked statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: Beta-carotene attenuated liver cirrhosis induced by TAA in rats. The mechanism may be related to effects on hepatic stellate cells or to scavenging of free radicals by beta-carotene. Retinolpalmitate and lycopen had no significant beneficial effect.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-154
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


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