Nutmeg is a traditional spice and medicinal plant with a variety of pharmacological activities. However, nutmeg abuse due to its hallucinogenic characteristics and poisoning cases are frequently reported. Our previous metabolomics study proved the hepatotoxicity of nutmeg and demonstrated that high-dose nutmeg can affect the synthesis and secretion of bile acids and cause oxidative stress. In order to further investigate the hepatotoxicity of nutmeg, normal saline, 1 g/kg, 4 g/kg nutmeg were administrated to male Kunming mice by intragastrical gavage for 7 days. Histopathological investigation of liver tissue, proteomics and biochemical analysis were employed to explore the mechanism of liver damage caused by nutmeg. The results showed that a high-dose (4 g/kg) of nutmeg can cause significant increased level of CYP450s and depletion of antioxidants, resulting in obvious oxidative stress damage and lipid metabolism disorders; but this change was not observed in low-dose group (1 g/kg). In addition, the increased level of malondialdehyde and decreased level of glutathione peroxidase were found after nutmeg exposure. Therefore, the present study reasonably speculates that nutmeg exposure may lead to liver injury through oxidative stress and the degree of this damage is related to the exposure dose.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited