New Ferulic Acid Derivatives Protect Against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Injury in Rats

Oluyomi S. Adeyemi1, *, Oluwakemi J. Awakan1, Olubunmi Atolani2, Cynthia O. Iyeye1, Ogehenemine O. Oweibo1, Opeyemi J. Adejumo2, Adewole Ibrahim2, Gaber El-saber Batiha3
1 Medicinal Biochemistry, Nanomedicine & Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Landmark University, PMB 1001, Omu-Aran - 251101, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt

© 2019 Adeyemi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Medicinal Biochemistry, Nanomedicine & Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Landmark University, PMB 1001, Omu-Aran - 251101, Nigeria; Tel: +234 7034 50 7902; E-mail:



Ferulic Acid (FA) is a phenolic compound that exhibits a wide range of therapeutic effects majorly due to its antioxidant property. There have been recent efforts to maximize the therapeutic value of FA by way of structural modification of FA to form FA derivatives in order to enhance physicochemical, antioxidant and therapeutic prospects.


In this work, we synthesized, characterized and evaluated new ferulic derivatives [ferulic phthalate and maleate] for their potential to protect against CCl4-induced liver injury in Wistar rats.


Male Wistar rats were randomly assigned into groups and given oral administration of CCl4 only, or in combination with either ferulic phthalate or maleate and thereafter, some biochemical parameters (alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase and malondialdehyde) and antioxidant indices (superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione) were determined.


Exposure to CCl4 altered liver biochemical indices in particular plasma alanine transaminase activities, in a manner reminiscent of liver injury. However, ferulic acid, as well as the ferulic derivatives significantly (p<0.05), improved rat liver indices. Also, ferulic derivatives improved (p<0.05) the rat antioxidant status compared with the group given CCl4 only. Furthermore, ferulic acid and ferulic maleate significantly (p<0.05) ameliorated rat lipid peroxidation caused by CCl4. Histological studies revealed mild infiltration caused by CCl4 but this cellular distortion was abated and improved in rats administered with ferulic acid, ferulic phthalate as well as ferulic maleate.


These findings do not only support the antioxidant as well as the therapeutic potentials of ferulic phthalate and maleate but also the medicinal value and prospects of phenolic compounds for therapeutic purposes.

Keywords: Biochemical toxicology, Ferulic maleate, Ferulic phthalate, Medicinal biochemistry, Oxidative stress, Phytomedicine.