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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias

CiteScore 2017: 1.41

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Effect of Ocimum basilicum leaves extract on acetaminophen-induced nephrotoxicity in BALB/c mice

Hajar F. Karaali
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Beirut Arab University, Debbieh, Lebanon
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ragaee R. Fahmi / Jamilah M. Borjac
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Beirut Arab University, Debbieh, Lebanon
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0111



Acetaminophen (APAP) is one of the most widely used drugs to treat pain. Its overdose is lethal causing liver and kidney failure. Nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity are mostly due to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species. Ocimum basilicum, known as basil, is a commonly used medicinal plant due to its versatile role as antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-oxidative. We aim in this study to investigate the preventive and protective effect of basil leaves aqueous extract against APAP-induced hepatorenal toxicity in BALB/c mice.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) was induced in mice using APAP. Mice were treated with basils extract pre and post AKI induction. Kidney and liver functions were assessed by measuring creatinine, urea, alanine transaminase, and aspartate transaminase levels in serum. Superoxide dismutase, catalase (CAT), and malondialdehyde levels of renal and hepatic tissues were assayed using Elisa. Kidney injury molecule (KIM-1) was quantified in kidney homogenate. Histopathological analysis of kidney and liver were examined.


Significant increase in all serum parameters, in hepatic and renal MDA, and in renal KIM-1 levels was observed post AKI induction. Treatment with basils post AKI induction minimized APAP damage by reducing serum markers and MDA in both organs and by increasing SOD and CAT. However, pretreatment with basils extract caused additional increase in serum ALT and AST and MDA in liver, with a significant increase in renal antioxidant enzymes. These results were confirmed by histopathological examination.


Basil extract may act as a natural antioxidant to treat APAP-induced acute hepato-renal toxicity when used as a post-treatment.

Keywords: acetaminophen; hepatotoxicity; Lamiaceae; nephrotoxicity; Ocimum basilicum; oxidative damage


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About the article

Received: 2018-07-02

Accepted: 2018-08-05

Published Online: 2018-10-12

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 20180111, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0111.

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