Over dose or long-term clinical use of therapeutic doses of acetaminophen (APAP) causes hepatotoxicity. Various strategies attempted to ameliorate APAP-hepatotoxicity have been found to be unsuitable for clinical practice. This study was aimed to illustrate the histopathological changes induced by therapeutic dose of APAP and investigate the hepatoprotective role of oral co- administration of selenium/ Tribulus terrestris (TT) extract concurrently against hepatotoxicity induced by APAP in rats. Fifty-four healthy male albino Wistar rats were randomized into nine groups (G1–G9) of six rats each, and administered with APAP and TT orally for 30 days as follows: Control (2ml normal saline), APAP (470 mg/kg), APAP (470 mg/kg) + selenium (2 mg/kg), APAP (470 mg/kg) + TT (98 mg/kg), APAP (470 mg/kg) + selenium (2mg/kg) + TT (98 mg/kg), APAP (470 mg/kg) + silymarin (200 mg/kg), selenium (2 mg/ kg), TT (98 mg/kg) and silymarin (200 mg/kg) groups. The results demonstrated that exposure of rats to therapeutic dose of APAP for 30 days caused significant histopathological changes parallel to elevated blood chemistry parameters. Co- administration of selenium/TT extract showed significantly reduced histopathological lesions and, restored or decreased levels of the examined blood chemistry parameters. Liver histology in selenium/TT extract showed normal hepatic architecture with mild changes and silymarin treated rats showed no histopathological changes. Histochemically PAS staining, showed that APAP-induced hepatotoxicity was characterized by hepatocytes glycogen depletion. Selenium/TT co-supplementation plays a potential role in preventing APAP-induced glycogen depletion by increasing detoxification and scavenging the reactive metabolites. Selenium/TT extract oral co-administration possesses a significant hepatoprotective property and mitigates APAP-induced hepatotoxicity by enhancing its antioxidant role and improving tissue integrity. Selenium/TT supplementation could represent an effective treatment against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. Further studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism underlying the protective role of TT extract.
KEY WORDS: Acetaminophen; Selenium; Tribulus terrestris; Hepatotoxicity; Glycogen.