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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 954136, 8 pages
Research Article

Hepatoprotective Effect of Pretreatment with Thymus vulgaris Essential Oil in Experimental Model of Acetaminophen-Induced Injury

1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, State University of Maringá, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
2Department of Chemistry, State University of Maringá, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
3Department of Clinical Analysis, State University of Maringá, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
4Department of Morphophysiology Sciences, State University of Maringá, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil

Received 9 September 2013; Accepted 23 December 2013; Published 4 February 2014

Academic Editor: Luigi Gori

Copyright © 2014 Renata Grespan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute liver damage caused by acetaminophen overdose is a significant clinical problem and could benefit from new therapeutic strategies. Objective. This study investigated the hepatoprotective effect of Thymus vulgaris essential oil (TEO), which is used popularly for various beneficial effects, such as its antiseptic, carminative, and antimicrobial effects. The hepatoprotective activity of TEO was determined by assessing serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in mice. Their livers were then used to determine myeloperoxidase (MPO) enzyme activity and subjected to histological analysis. In vitro antioxidant activity was evaluated by assessing the free radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•)-scavenging effects of TEO and TEO-induced lipid peroxidation. TEO reduced the levels of the serum marker enzymes AST, ALT, and ALP and MPO activity. The histopathological analysis indicated that TEO prevented acetaminophen-induced necrosis. The essential oil also exhibited antioxidant activity, reflected by its DPPH radical-scavenging effects and in the lipid peroxidation assay. These results suggest that TEO has hepatoprotective effects on acetaminophen-induced hepatic damage in mice.