Manju Kaundala & Sushma Sharmaa*
*aDepartment of Biosciences, H.P.University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Received 16th June.,2014; Revised 25th July, 2014
Abstract : The present study was undertaken to evaluate the cytoprotective potential of rhizomes of the Indian medicinal plant, Picrorhiza kurroa (kutki or katuka) against β-adrenergic agonists induced cytotoxicity in mice, its capacity to modulate oxidative stress and the levels of cytotoxic marker LDH during the process. Although it shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulary activities, but is most valued for its hepato-cardioprotective effect. Heart and liver of Balb/c mice were processed for hepatotoxicity and cardiomyopathy by using different techniques such as fluorescent microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and electrophoresis. Release of intracellular marker enzyme LDH was also quantified biochemically and used as diagnostic cytotoxic marker enzyme. Our results clearly demonstrated that ethanol extract of P. kurroa with high antioxidant activity as established using different techniques, was effective in suppressing the deleterious effect of β-agonists. There was marked elevation in the activity of LDH and cell injury as evidenced from apoptotic and necrotic cells in treated groups. Oral administration of extract (50 mg and 150 mg/kg b.w.) resulted in significant reduction in level of enzyme and cell injury. Thus, it is evident that the rhizome of P. kurroa exerts therapeutic action on heart and liver by its antioxidant property thereby establishing its hepatocardioprotective effect.