Ferulic acid prevents oxidative stress, inflammation, and liver injury via upregulation of Nrf2/HO-1 signaling in methotrexate-induced rats.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Dec 31. Epub 2019 Dec 31. PMID: 31889292
Ayman M Mahmoud
Liver injury is one of the adverse effects of methotrexate (MTX). Ferulic acid (FA) is an antioxidant phytochemical that confers hepatoprotective efficacy; however, its effect against MTX hepatotoxicity remains unexplored. This study investigated the role of FA in modulating oxidative stress, inflammation, Nrf2/HO-1 signaling, and PPARγ in MTX-administered rats. Following oral FA supplementation for 15 days, rats received a single dose of MTX at day 16 and samples were collected at day 19. MTX provoked multiple histological manifestations, including degenerative changes, steatosis, inflammatory cells infiltration and hemorrhage, and altered serum transaminases, bilirubin, and albumin. Reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, and nitric oxide were increased in the liver of rats that received MTX. FA prevented all histological alterations, ameliorated liver function markers, suppressed oxidative stress, and boosted antioxidants in MTX-induced rats. FA reduced serum TNF-α and IL-1β, and hepatic NF-κB p65, Bax, and caspase-3, whereas increased Bcl-2, Nrf2, NQO1, HO-1, and PPARγ. In conclusion, FA prevented MTX hepatotoxicity by activating Nrf2/HO-1 signaling and PPARγ, and attenuating oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death.