Comprehensive in vivo and in silico approaches to explore the hepatoprotective activity of poncirin against paracetamol toxicity

Hadayat Ullah, Ashrafullah Khan, Tehmina Bibi, Sajjad Ahmad, Omer Shehzad, Hussain Ali, Eun Kyoung Seo, Salman Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the present study, poncirin was evaluated against paracetamol-induced liver injury using in vivo and computational approaches. Paracetamol was administered intraperitoneally (i.p,) to establish liver injury in mice and, subsequently, to investigate the hepatoprotective effect of poncirin (administered intraperitoneally) on liver injury. The effect of poncirin was evaluated against the liver injury markers and inflammatory cytokines. Similarly, in the present study, the antioxidants and oxidative stress parameters were also assessed following paracetamol-induced liver injury. The histological studies following liver injury were also assessed using H and E staining, Masson’s trichrome staining, and periodic acid-Schiff staining. Similarly, the computational approach was used to assess the pharmacokinetic parameters of poncirin and its interaction with various protein targets. Poncirin markedly improved the antioxidant enzymes while attenuated the oxidative stress markers and inflammatory cytokines. Poncirin also markedly improved hematological parameters. Furthermore, poncirin treatment significantly improved the histological parameters using H and E staining, Masson’s trichrome, and PAS staining compared to the control. Poncirin treatment also improved the liver function tests and liver synthetic activity compared to paracetamol treated group. The immunohistochemistry analysis revealed significant decrease in the inflammatory signaling protein such as nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression level compared to the paracetamol treated group. Computational analysis (molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation) showed significant binding affinity of poncirin with the NF-κB, JNK, COX-2, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α via multiple hydrophilic and hydrophobic binds. Similarly, the SwissADME software revealed that poncirin follows various drug-likeness rules and exhibited better pharmacokinetic parameters. Poncirin improved the sign and symptoms associated with liver injury using both in vivo and computational approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Cytokines
  • Hepatoprotection
  • Oxidative stress
  • Poncirin


Dive into the research topics of 'Comprehensive in vivo and in silico approaches to explore the hepatoprotective activity of poncirin against paracetamol toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this