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Sub-chronic hepatotoxicity of Anacardium occidentale (Anacardiaceae) inner stem bark extract in rats

Author(s): Okonkwo T. J. N. | Okorie O | Okonta J | Okonkwo C

Journal: Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
ISSN 0250-474X

Volume: 72;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 353;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Anacardium occidantale | Anti-nutrients | heavy metals | Liver function indices

The extracts of Anacardium occidentale have been used in the management of different cardiovascular disorders in Nigeria. These have necessitated the assessment of the toxicity of this plant extract in sub-chronic administration. The inner stem bark of Anacardium occidentale was extracted with 80 % methanol and quantitatively analysed for antinutrients and some heavy metals. The phytochemical compositions and acute toxicity of the extract were determined also. Toxicity profiles of the extract on some liver function parameters were evaluated following a sub-chronic oral administration at doses of 1.44 and 2.87 g/kg. The phytochemical screening of extract revealed the presence of high amount of tannins, moderate saponins and trace of free reducing sugars. The antinutrient levels were 5.75 % (tannins), 2.50 % (oxalates), 2.00 % (saponins), 0.25 % (phytate) and 0.03 % (cyanide). The quantity of iron detected from dried crude was 8.92 mg/100 g, while lead and cadmium were non-detectable. The extract had LD 50 of 2.154 g/kg p.o. in mice. Sub-chronic administration of the extract significantly increased the serum levels of alanine aminotransaminase and aspartate aminotransaminase, which are indicative of liver damage. The serum levels of alkaline phosphatase and total protein of the treated animals were not significantly increased. The effects of sub-chronically administered extract on hepatocytes were minimal as the serum alkaline phosphatase; total bilirubin and total protein levels in treated animals were not significant (p< 0.05). Thus, sub-chronic administrations of Anacardium occidentale inner stem bark extract did not significantly (p< 0.05) depress the function of hepatocytes in Wistar rats.

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