The Hepatoprotective Role of Balanites aegyptiaca Extract and its Nano-Formulation Against Methomyl-Induced Toxicity and Oxidative Stress in Mice via Overexpression of Nrf2

Document Type : Original Article


1 Biochemistry Division, Chemistry Department, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516, Egypt

2 Plant Production Research institute-ARC-Dokki, Giza,12311, Egypt

3 Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar. University, Assiut, Egypt

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA 40536


Introduction: Methomyl (MET) is a monomethyl carbamate insecticide that is widely used around the world. MET is highly toxic to humans via oral exposure and mainly affects the liver tissue. It actually induces toxicity through overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) leading to oxidative stress with subsequent destruction of lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Materials and Methods: Various plant extracts have been primarily screened for their antioxidant activities by measuring the free radical scavenging ability. Later, the plant extract with the highest antioxidant efficacy has been further formulated into a nanosuspension and the antioxidative effect has also been investigated against MET. Additionally, liver, kidney, and heart function biomarkers, liver tissue oxidative stress parameters, and total antioxidant capacity were assessed. Moreover, RT-PCR was applied to measure the Nrf2 expression.
Results: The antioxidant screening data showed that balanites extract (BLT, Balanites aegyptiaca) had the most potent antioxidant activity. Besides, BLT showed dose-dependent improvement in liver, heart, and kidney functions in experimental mice treated with MET. The antioxidant biomarkers in liver tissue and total antioxidant capacity were elevated as compared to the MET-treated group. Furthermore, BLT significantly ameliorated MET-induced toxicity via the induction of Nrf2 and MET hepatic clearance. This study suggests the potential use of BLT extract as a natural antioxidant for the safe management of MET-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress.
Conclusions: Based on the presented data in this study, it can be concluded that BLT or BLT-NS can be used as a safe drug for methomyl toxicity.