Studies on the toxicity of an aqueous extract of the leaves of Abrus precatorius in rats

A A Adedapo, O A Omoloye, O G Ohore
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 2007, 74 (1): 31-6
The toxic effects of an aqueous extract of Abrus precatorius were studied in 20 male white rats over a period of 18 days. The rats were divided into four groups of five rats per group. Those in Group A served as controls while the rats in Groups B, C and D were dosed per os with 400 mg/kg, 800 mg/kg and 1 600 mg/kg of the extract, respectively. Blood samples were collected for haematological and biochemical analysis and specimens of the liver, kidney and testes were taken for histopathological studies. The study showed that the extract of A. precatorius caused decreased levels of packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin. The extract also resulted in increased levels of total serum protein, albumin, alanine amino transaminase, aspartate amino transferase, alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin. Histologically, testicular degeneration characterized by decreased numbers of lining cells of the epithelium as well as reduction in sperm cells with presence of scattered Sertoli cells were noted. The study thus showed that aqueous extract of Abrus precatorius is toxic and caution should be exercised in its use for medicinal purpose.

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