Safety assessment of Spondias purpurea aqueous leaf extract (anacardiaceae): Acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies in wistar rats
Keywords:Spondias purpurea, Toxicity studies, Hematology, Biochemical, Histology
This study aimed to assess the toxicological profile of aqueous leaf extract of S. purpurea (ALES) in Wistar rats. ALES was subjected to acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies which were conducted according to Lorke’s and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 408 guidelines respectively. The acute toxicity study was carried out in two phases within 48 hours. Sub-chronic (90 days) toxicity studies were conducted on 4 groups of rats each. The first group received 1mL/kg distilled water, Groups 2, 3 and 4 received ALES 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg respectively. Preliminary phytochemical screening revealed the presence of saponins, steroids/triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and cardiac glycosides. The oral median lethal dose (LD50) of the extract in rats was established to be greater than 5000 mg/kg. Sub-chronic administration of ALES did not produce significant changes in body weights and relative organ weights of treated rats. Hematology results between control and treated groups for a 90-day period of administration of ALES were comparable, however there was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in differential white blood cell at highest dose. Biochemical result, revealed a non-significant mean variations in levels of renal and hepatic parameters between the treated groups and their corresponding controls. However, there was a significant (p < 0.05) dose dependent decrease in level of potassium and glucose for treated groups compared their respective control, also a non-dose dependent decrease in ALP at 500 mg/kg ALES group. Lipid parameters examined also showed a dose dependent decrease in cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL level, however the decrease was significant for triglyceride at 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg treatment group compared to control. Additionally, in comparison to control a non-significant increase in HDL level was observed for treatment groups. The Histological result showed slight alterations in brain, liver, kidney, lungs and uterus intensified with an increase in the doses of the extracts administered. These findings suggest that Spondias purpurea leaf extract is relatively safe on acute administration. However, long term administration of higher doses could result in mild toxic responses. Therefore, caution should be taken in long term administration of the extract.