Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 25;12(1):17854. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-20412-3.
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a deterioration of brain function in patients suffering from chronic liver disease, cirrhosis as a result of elevated blood ammonia and the production of pseudo-neurotransmitters. Herein, we investigated the chemical composition of hexane extract from Origanum vulgare (O. vulgare) leaves as well as its possible protective effects against thioacetamide (TAA)-induced HE in rats. GC-MS analysis of the extract revealed tentative identification of twenty-five compounds (82.93%), predominated by cholesten-3-one (27.30%), followed by γ-tocopherol (13.52%), α-tocopherol (5.01%), β-amyrin (5.24%) and α-amyrin (4.89%). Albino rats were distributed into seven groups (n = 7). G1 served as negative control; G2 and G3 served as controls treated with O. vulgare (100 and 200 mg/kg/p.o b.w, respectively); G4 served as TAA-positive control group (100 mg/kg/day/i.p., three alternative days per week for six weeks); G5, G6, and G7 served as TAA -induced HE rat model that received O. vulgare 100, O. vulgare 200, and silymarin (100 mg/kg of SILY, as standard drug), respectively. TAA showed depressive and anxiety-like behaviors in forced swimming test (FST) and reduction of cognitive score in elevated plus-maze test (EPMT) as well as impairment of locomotor and exploratory activities in open-field test (OFT). TAA caused a significant decline in body weight gain; however, the relative liver weight and brain water content were statistically increased. TAA-intoxicated rats showed significant increase of serum biomarker enzymes, proinflammatory cytokines, blood ammonia levels, brain serotonin, acetyl cholinesterase and cellular lipid peroxidation with significant decrease of brain dopamine, norepinephrine, antioxidant status. The hepatoprotective/neuro-protective activities of O. vulgare was found to be comparable with that of SILY in HE rats model. Where, treatment of TAA-intoxicated rats with O. vulgare attenuated anxiety, depressive-related behaviors, and reduced the biochemical changes in HE-induced by TAA. Therefore, O. vulgare could be an excellent hepato-/neuroprotective against hepatic injury and HE via improving the oxidative/inflammatory status through its antioxidant and neuro-modulatory properties and its effect is equal to that of SILY.