J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(4): 400-407.
doi: 10.34172/jhp.2020.50
  Abstract View: 480
  PDF Download: 220

Original Article

The pharmacological effect of apricot seeds extracts and amygdalin in experimentally induced liver damage and hepatocellular carcinoma

Amer Ramadan 1 ORCID logo, Gehan Kamel 1 ORCID logo, Nagwa E. Awad 2 ORCID logo, Aya A. Shokry 1* ORCID logo, Hany M Fayed 3 ORCID logo

1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical and Drug Industrial Research Division, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt
3 Pharmacology Department, Medical Division, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt


Introduction: Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) has been widely used for the treatment of several disorders such as liver diseases, but the hepatoprotective and anticancer activities of its seeds were not studied before. In this study, we evaluated the pharmacological effects of apricot seeds extracts and amygdalin on prevention of liver damage and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Methods: Amygdalin contents of apricot seeds in ethanolic extracts were determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) then, the ethanolic apricot seeds extract and amygdalin were evaluated for its hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity and anticancer activity against N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

Results: The amount of amygdalin was 5.72 g and 10.22 g/100 g extract for 70% and 99.9% ethanolic apricot seeds extracts, respectively. Pretreatment of the rats with 70% and 99.9% ethanolic apricot seeds extracts (100 mg/kg), amygdalin and silymarin (50 mg/kg) prevented elevation in liver function parameters such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) caused by carbon tetrachloride injection with significant increase in albumin, total proteins, and no effect on total direct bilirubin when compared to those in hepatotoxic group. Both extracts also showed anticancer activity against hepatocellular carcinoma via diminishing the elevated serum levels of AST, ALT, ALP, total, direct bilirubin, albumin, total proteins, alpha-fetoprotein, malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) and elevating the decreased hepatic reduced glutathione (GSH) level when compared with NDEA- intoxicated group.

Conclusion: Apricot seeds possess hepatoprotective and anticancer activities that justify its traditional use, and its potential for the treatment of liver diseases including hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatoprotective drug, CCl4, Apricot seeds, Amygdalin

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

This work provides information about the pharmacological activities of apricot seeds and its major component amygdalin in prevention of liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma induced by nitrosodiethylamine in rats. Our results indicate that apricot seeds or amygdalin as pure powder can treat hepatocellular carcinoma and prevent liver damage. So, they might be used for therapy or as preventive drug.

Please cite this paper as: Ramadan A, Kamel G, Awad NE, Shokry AA, Fayed HM. The pharmacological effect of apricot seeds extracts and amygdalin in experimentally induced liver damage and hepatocellular carcinoma. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(4):400-407. doi: 10.34172/jhp.2020.50.

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Submitted: 12 Jan 2020
Accepted: 07 May 2020
ePublished: 01 Jul 2020
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