Therapeutic potential of plants and plant derived phytochemicals against acetaminophen-induced liver injury

Sandeep B. Subramanya, Balaji Venkataraman, Mohamed Fizur Nagoor Meeran, Sameer N. Goyal, Chandragouda R. Patil, Shreesh Ojha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Acetaminophen (APAP), which is also known as paracetamol or N-acetyl-p-aminophenol is a safe and potent drug for fever, pain and inflammation when used at its normal therapeutic doses. It is available as over-the-counter drug and used by all the age groups. The overdose results in acute liver failure that often requires liver transplantation. Current clinical therapy for APAP-induced liver toxicity is the administration of N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a sulphydryl compound an approved drug which acts by replenishing cellular glutathione (GSH) stores in the liver. Over the past five decades, several studies indicate that the safety and efficacy of herbal extracts or plant derived compounds that are used either as monotherapy or as an adjunct therapy along with conventional medicines for hepatotoxicity have shown favorable responses. Phytochemicals mitigate necrotic cell death and protect against APAP-induced liver toxicityby restoring cellular antioxidant defense system, limiting oxidative stress and subsequently protecting mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation. Recent experimental evidences indicat that these phytochemicals also regulate differential gene expression to modulate various cellular pathways that are implicated in cellular protection. Therefore, in this review, we highlight the role of the phytochemicals, which are shown to be efficacious in clinically relevant APAP-induced hepatotoxicity experimental models. In this review, we have made comprehensive attempt to delineate the molecular mechanism and the cellular targets that are modulated by the phytochemicals to mediate the cytoprotective effect against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. In this review, we have also defined the challenges and scope of phytochemicals to be developed as drugs to target APAP-induced hepatotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3776
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • APAP
  • Acetaminophen
  • Animals
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Hpatoprotection
  • Natural products
  • Paracetamol
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plants
  • Preclinical studies
  • Small molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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