J Appl Toxicol
The effect of silymarin (100 mg/kg i.p.) on the biochemical indicators of liver damage induced by thallium (10 mg/kg p.o.) was studied in rats. The production of malondialdehyde and the content of reduced glutathione in the liver were measured as indicators of lipid peroxidation. Thallium intoxication increased the serum activities of glutamic pyruvic transaminase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phosphatase and the liver concentration of triglycerides. Thallium decreased the activity of alkaline phosphatase and increased that of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in the liver cell membrane. It also abolished the membrane activity of Na+/K+ ATPase. Lipid peroxidation was enhanced by thallium as malondialdehyde production was increased and the content of reduced glutathione was decreased in the liver. Silymarin completely prevented all these changes. It is suggested that thallium toxicity is due, at least in part, to the promotion of lipid peroxidation. The membrane stabilizing effect of silymarin observed in this and in other models of liver toxicity is due to some antioxidant property, possibly related to its ability to scavenge free oxygen radicals.