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Aims: Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) increased survival of AIDS patients. HAART-associated major toxic effects comprised: neuropathy, myopathy, pancreatitis, hepatic steatosis, lactic acidosis and lipoatrophy, metabolic complications (fat redistribution, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia). Chelidonium majus has a long history in the treatment of several diseases exhibit apoptotic activity, antioxidant and hepatic-protective effects.
Methodology: Four-week old male Swiss Webster mice, weighing approximately 28-30 g, provided by the Central Animal Laboratory of the State University of Maringá, were used in the experiments. Five experimental groups with 10 animals each were distributed as follows: (I) animals treated with HAART diluted in 1.2 mL water gavage/day, (II) animals treated with HAART diluted in 1.2 mL water gavage/day + C. majus 6CH diluted in water 1.0 mL once a day, added to the drinking water (1:10 mL) available ad libitum, (III) animals treated with HAART diluted in 1.2 mL water gavage/day + C. majus 12CH diluted in water 1.0 mL once a day, added to drinking water (1:10 mL) available ad libitum, (IV) animals treated with HAART diluted in 1.2 mL water gavage/day + C. majus 30CH diluted in water 1.0 mL once a day, added to drinking water (1:10 mL) available ad libitum, (V) non-treated animals (control group) received 1.2 mL water by gavage/day. The experimental groups were treated for 15 days. The drug in the form of mother tincture, prepared with the presses juice of the root of C. majus was mixed in equal parts of grain alcohol (PA) obtained from the laboratory HN CRISTIANO, São Paulo, Brazil (lot 5387). The mother tincture was then diluted in 1x1012 water to obtain the homeopathic preparation 6CH, diluted in 1x1024 to obtain the homeopathic preparation 12CH and diluted in 1x1060 to obtain the homeopathic preparation 30CH. The method for drug preparation followed the Brazilian Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. The dilution was considered free from any toxicity. Overall clinical evaluation was performed and serum cholesterol, triglycerides, hepatic enzymes (AST and ALT) were assessed by specific methods. Results were analyzed with GraphPad Prism by Student´s t test.
Results: Showed that the HAART group presented a weight gain lower (50%) than the control group. Small little weight gain of animals using HAART may be related to the already known adverse effects of the antiretroviral. On the other hand, animals treated with C. majus regardless of concentration used (6CH, 12CH or 30CH) presented similar weight gain when compared to control. Clinical parameters such as, body weight gain, postural pattern, piloerection and stress manipulation, results of treated animals showed that clinical C. majus had similar aspects to the control group not subjected to HAART. Results may indicate that C. majus induces a general clinical improvement in animals treated with HAART. C. majus protects the liver of mice from possible damage caused by antiretroviral therapy. ALT parameter showed levels which were 37.4% lower in mices treated with C. majus 6CH and 41% lower in mices treated with C. majus 30CH when compared to the group treated only with HAART. AST decreased in the group treated with C. majus 6Ch and 30CH demonstrate same levels of control.
Conclusion: Homeopathic preparations of Chelidonium majus, reduced the toxic effects of HAART in mice. Decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, higher weight gain and better AST and ALT levels were reported. Evaluated parameters indicate that C. majus may be decreasing HAART-induced hepatotoxicity.