Acute and sub-acute toxicity of the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron stem bark

H Magnifouet Nana, R A Ngono Ngane, J R Kuiate, L M Koanga Mogtomo, J D Tamokou, F Ndifor, R S Mouokeu, R M Ebelle Etame, L Biyiti, P H Amvam Zollo
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2011 September 1, 137 (1): 70-6

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Pteleopsis hylodendron is one of the most popular medicinal plants in Cameroon where it is used to treat measles, chickenpox, sexually transmitted diseases, female sterility, liver and kidney disorders as well as dropsy. To date there is no documented evidence corroborating its safety. This study thus aimed to determine the toxicity profile of the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The acute and sub-chronic toxicity of the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron were investigated by employing established methods. The acute toxicity study was done by administering single doses (2-8 g/kg body weight) of plant extract to adult mice. For the sub chronic toxicity study, doses (85-680 mg/kg bw) of plant extract were administered daily to adult rats during 28 days after which the effect on organs, the hematological and biochemical parameters was assessed.

RESULTS: In mice, single oral administrations of the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron caused dose-dependent general behaviour adverse effects and mortality. The LD50 values were 3.00 and 3.60 g/kg bw for males and females respectively. In rats, daily single oral doses of the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron provoked significant (p < 0.05) growth retardation in rats at all tested doses after 28 days of dosing. Haematological parameters showed a significant decrease in white blood cells count and significant increases red blood cells count; irrespective of the sex, all biochemical parameters studied, except triglycerides significantly (p < 0.001) increased with dose. However, a dose-dependent significant (p < 0.007) increase in HDL was observed only in male rats. Increases in liver enzymes (ALT and AST), proteins and creatinine levels correlate the observed histopathological damages (i.e. inflammation and vascular congestions) in the liver and kidneys.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall results of this study indicate that the methanolic extract of Pteleopsis hylodendron stem bark possesses hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects at doses ≥ 85 mg/kg bw, suggesting that this plant should be used with caution.

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