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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 8296451, 10 pages
Research Article

Protective Effect of Boswellic Acids against Doxorubicin-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Impact on Nrf2/HO-1 Defense Pathway

1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy (Girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
3Department of Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Correspondence should be addressed to Bassant M. Barakat; moc.oohay@takarab.tnassab

Received 8 October 2017; Accepted 19 December 2017; Published 6 February 2018

Academic Editor: Simona G. Bungău

Copyright © 2018 Bassant M. Barakat 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.


The current study aimed to investigate the potential protective role of boswellic acids (BAs) against doxorubicin- (DOX-) induced hepatotoxicity. Also, the possible mechanisms underlying this protection; antioxidant, as well as the modulatory effect on the Nrf2 transcription factor/hem oxygenase-1 (Nrf2/HO-1) pathway in liver tissues, was investigated. Animals were allocated to five groups: group 1: the saline control, group 2: the DOX group, animals received DOX (6 mg/kg, i.p.) weekly for a period of three weeks, and groups 3–5: animals received DOX (6 mg/kg, i.p.) weekly and received protective doses of BAs (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg/day). Treatment with BAs significantly improved the altered liver enzyme activities and oxidative stress markers. This was coupled with significant improvement in liver histopathological features. BAs increased the Nrf2 and HO-1 expression, which provided protection against DOX-induced oxidative insult. The present results demonstrated that BAs appear to scavenge ROS and inhibit lipid peroxidation and DNA damage of DOX-induced hepatotoxicity. The antioxidant efficacy of BAs might arise from its modulation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway and thereby protected liver from DOX-induced oxidative injury.