A natural antioxidant, tannic acid mitigates iron-overload induced hepatotoxicity in Swiss albino mice through ROS regulation

Tapasree Basu, Sourav Panja, Anil Khushalrao Shendge, Abhishek Das, Nripendranath Mandal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Tannic acid (TA), a water soluble natural polyphenol with 8 gallic acids groups, is abundantly present in various medicinal plants. Previously TA has been investigated for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Being a large polyphenol, TA chelates more than 1 metal. Hence TA has been explored for potent antioxidant activities against reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and as iron chelator in vitro thereby mitigating iron-overload induced hepatotoxicity in vivo. Iron dextran was injected intraperitoneally in Swiss albino mice to induce iron-overload triggered hepatotoxicity, followed by oral administration of TA for remediation. After treatment, liver, spleen, and blood samples were processed from sacrificed animals. The liver iron, serum ferritin, serum markers, ROS, liver antioxidant status, and liver damage parameters were assessed, followed by histopathology and protein expression studies. Our results show that TA is a prominent ROS and RNS scavenger as well as iron chelator in vitro. It also reversed the ROS levels in vivo and restricted the liver damage parameters as compared to the standard drug, desirox. Moreover, this natural polyphenol exclusively ameliorates the histopathological and fibrotic changes in liver sections reducing the iron-overload, along with chelation of liver iron and normalization of serum ferritin. The protective role of TA against iron-overload induced apoptosis in liver was further supported by changed levels of caspase 3, PARP as well as Bax/BCl-2 ratio. Thus, TA can be envisaged as a better orally administrable iron chelator to reduce iron-overload induced hepatotoxicity through ROS regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-618
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ERK 1/2
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Iron chelation
  • Liver fibrosis
  • ROS and RNS scavenger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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