Some clinico-pathological changes associated with the aqueous extract of the leaves of Phyllanthus amarus in rats

A A Adedapo, A Y Adegbayibi, B O Emikpe
Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2005, 19 (11): 971-6
The pathological changes of the aqueous crude extract of the leaves of Phyllanthus amarus were studied in 32 male rats over a period of 30 days. The animals were divided into four groups of eight animals per group. The aqueous crude extract was prepared and administered orally using a cannula to rats in three groups receiving doses of 400 mg/kg, 800 mg/kg and 1,000 mg/kg but the fourth group served as a control and received distilled water only. Blood samples were collected for haematological and serum biochemical analysis. Organs such as the liver, kidney, testes and pancreas were also assessed for histopathological changes. The study showed that the extract caused a decrease in the red blood cell (RBC) count, packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration (Hb), but an increase in the white blood cell (WBC) count. The extract also resulted in an increase in the levels of aspartate amino transferase (AST), total and conjugated bilirubin, total protein and albumin. The study, however, caused a decrease in the level of alanine amino transferase (ALT). Histopathologically, there were cases of protein casts in the kidney tubules with tubular nephrosis, foci of lymphocytic infiltration at the portal areas of the liver as well as marked testicular degeneration with severe disorganization of seminiferous tubules, which were devoid of spermatic cells. A reduction in the weight of the experimental animals was also noted in this study. It thus shows that Phyllanthus amarus has potential toxic properties.

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