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Research Article

Empagliflozin Exhibits Hepatoprotective Effects Against Bile Duct Ligation-induced Liver Injury in Rats: A Combined Molecular Docking Approach to In Vivo Studies

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 40 ]


Nasrin Shakerinasab, Mahdokht Azizi, Mahboubeh Mansourian, Hossein Sadeghi, Shirvan Salaminia, Reza Abbasi, Mohammad Esmaeil Shahaboddin and Amir Hossein Doustimotlagh*   Pages 3313 - 3323 ( 11 )


Background: Cholestatic liver damage is a chronic disease caused by dysfunction of the hepaticbiliary system. Oxidative stress and inflammation are essential factors in the pathogenesis of cholestasis. Thus, the current study was designed to examine the effect of empagliflozin on bile duct ligation-induced liver damage in rats.

Methods: This study was done on male Wistar rats, which were randomly assigned to the four experimental groups: sham control (SC), bile duct ligation (BDL), SC plus empagliflozin (SC+EMPA) (receiving 10 mg of EMPA orally for 7 days), BDL plus empagliflozin 10 mg/kg (BDL+ EMPA). At the end of the study, the rats were sacrificed, and serum and tissue samples were collected to analyze biochemical parameters, biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammatory markers, and histopathological changes. The molecular docking technique was performed to elucidate the interaction of EMPA and Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1).

Results: The results showed that BDL elevated the serum activity of ALT, AST, ALP, and levels of TBIL and TPro. BDL also intensifies the oxidative stress state in rats, which was confirmed by augmenting lipid peroxidation (MDA), protein oxidation (PCO), and altering antioxidant defense parameters through decreased SOD, catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) levels. Furthermore, the histopathological changes in the liver demonstrated the aggravation of inflammation and oxidative stress. In contrast, treatment with EMPA has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects by reducing TNF-α and IL-6 pro-inflammatory marker proteins, restoring the antioxidant status (increased SOD and GPX), reducing ALT, AST, ALP, TBIL levels, and protein oxidation, and improving the histopathological alterations through reducing bile duct proliferation, fibrosis, focal and portal inflammation. According to the attained findings, the SOD1 activity can be regulated by the EMPA. Our documentation presents direct evidence at the molecular level related to the ability of EMPA to exert its antioxidant performance through certain measures in a particular molecular route.

Conclusion: The results showed EMPA to have hepatic protective effects in rats against cholestatic liver injury, an effect mediated by its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Cholestasis, empagliflozin, oxidative stress, bile duct ligation, rats, molecular docking.


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