Natural Pomegranate Peel Extract's Impact on Cystic Disease in Mice

Greg Howard
14th May, 2024

Natural Pomegranate Peel Extract's Impact on Cystic Disease in Mice

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Recent research from Menoufia University found that combining pomegranate peel extract (PGE) with albendazole (ABZ) significantly reduced the size and weight of hydatid cysts in infected mice
  • The combination of PGE and ABZ led to marked histopathological improvements and significant ultrastructural changes in the cysts, indicating enhanced therapeutic efficacy
  • PGE also modulated the immune response by reducing interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels, potentially mitigating the inflammatory side effects associated with ABZ treatment
Cystic echinococcosis (CE), caused by the parasitic tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, remains a significant health concern, particularly in regions where livestock farming is prevalent. The standard treatment often involves albendazole (ABZ), a benzimidazole drug. However, long-term ABZ administration can lead to hepatic injury, limiting its use[2]. Recent research from Menoufia University has explored the potential of pomegranate peel extract (PGE) to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of ABZ while mitigating its side effects[1]. The study examined the effects of PGE, both alone and in combination with ABZ, on ultrastructural and immunological changes in laboratory-infected mice with CE. The researchers found that the combination of PGE and ABZ resulted in the smallest hydatid cyst size and weight, with a significant drug efficacy of 56.2%. This combination also led to marked histopathological improvements, indicating a synergistic effect between PGE and ABZ. Transmission electron microscopy revealed significant ultrastructural changes in the hydatid cysts treated with the PGE and ABZ combination. These changes included fragmentation of the nucleus, glycogen depletion, and the presence of multiple lysosomes in vacuolated cytoplasm. These findings suggest that the combination therapy disrupts the cellular integrity of the cysts more effectively than either treatment alone. Interestingly, the study also observed immunological changes. Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels were significantly increased in the group treated with ABZ alone but were notably reduced when PGE was administered, either alone or in combination with ABZ. This reduction in IFN-γ levels indicates that PGE may help modulate the immune response, potentially reducing the inflammatory side effects associated with ABZ treatment. Earlier studies have also highlighted the potential benefits of combining herbal extracts with conventional drugs. For instance, Zataria multiflora aromatic water (AW) has been shown to protect against hepatic injury induced by long-term ABZ treatment in mice with CE[2]. The combination of Z. multiflora and ABZ resulted in a significant decrease in serum liver enzyme activity, suggesting a protective effect on the liver. Similarly, the current study's findings that PGE enhances ABZ's therapeutic efficacy while improving histopathological and ultrastructural changes align with these earlier observations[2]. The study's findings also build upon previous research that has demonstrated the wound healing potential of pomegranate peel extracts. A methanolic extract-based ointment of pomegranate peels significantly enhanced wound contraction and epithelialization in guinea pigs, attributed to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties[3]. These properties likely contribute to the observed improvements in hydatid cyst treatment when PGE is used in combination with ABZ[3]. Moreover, the current study's focus on ultrastructural changes complements earlier findings on the efficacy of benzimidazoles like ABZ and fenbendazole. Previous research has shown that benzimidazoles cause significant alterations within the germinal layer of Echinococcus metacestodes, including the retraction of microtriches and separation of the laminated layer from the germinal layer[4]. The current study's observation of ultrastructural changes such as nuclear fragmentation and glycogen depletion further elucidates the mechanisms through which these drugs, particularly when combined with PGE, disrupt the parasite's cellular structure[4]. In conclusion, the study from Menoufia University provides compelling evidence that pomegranate peel extract can enhance the therapeutic efficacy of albendazole in treating cystic echinococcosis while mitigating its side effects. The combination therapy not only resulted in smaller and lighter hydatid cysts but also led to significant histopathological and ultrastructural improvements. These findings suggest a promising avenue for more effective and safer treatment options for CE, building on earlier research that has explored the benefits of combining herbal extracts with conventional drugs[2][3][4].

MedicineBiochemAnimal Science


Main Study

1) An in vivo appraisal of Punica granatum peel extract's ultrastructural effect on cystic echinococcosis in mice.

Published 13th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Zataria multiflora would attenuate the hepatotoxicity of long-term albendazole treatment in mice with cystic echinococcosis.

3) Hydroalcoholic extract based-ointment from Punica granatum L. peels with enhanced in vivo healing potential on dermal wounds.

4) Activities of fenbendazole in comparison with albendazole against Echinococcus multilocularis metacestodes in vitro and in a murine infection model.

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