Evaluation of the acute and subchronic toxicity of Aster tataricus L.F.

  • Wen-jing Peng
  • Rui-hua Xin
  • Yong-jiang Luo
  • Ge Liang
  • Li-hua Ren
  • Yan Liu
  • Gui-bo Wang
  • Ji-fang Zheng
Keywords: Aster tataricus L. f., Acute toxicity, Subchronic toxicity, Cytokines, Hepatic injury


Background: Aster tataricus L. f. is used as a traditional Chinese drug to relieve cough and asthma symptoms and to eliminate phlegm. However, Aster tataricus L. f. possesses toxicity, and little systematic research has been conducted on its toxic effects in the laboratory.

Methods and Materials: The acute group was administered 75% alcohol extract of Aster tataricus L. f. in a single dose. A subchronic toxicity study was performed via daily oral administration of Aster tataricus L. f. at a dose of 0.34 g/kg body weight in SD rats. The rats were divided into six groups: a petroleum ether extract (PEA) group, an ethyl acetate extract (EEA) group, an n-butyl alcohol extract (NEA) group, a remaining lower aqueous phases (REA) group, a 75% alcohol extract (AEA) group and a control group. Quantitative measurements of cytokines were obtained by fluorescence with a laser scanner using a Cy3 equivalent dye.

Results: The LD50 of the 75% alcohol extract of Aster tataricus L. f. was 15.74 g/kg bw. In the subchronic toxicity study, no significant differences were observed among groups in relative organ weights, urine traits, liver antioxidase levels, or cytokine levels. However, significant sporadic differences were observed in body weight gains, haematology indices, biochemistry values, and histopathology features in PEA, EEA group. In addition, sporadic changes in other groups in measures such as WBC, MCHC, CK, ALP, AST, ALT, LDH, T-BIL, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TC were observed.

Conclusion: The toxicity study showed that Aster tataricus L. f. can produce toxic effects, mainly on the liver; much less on the heart. The LD50 was 15.74 g/kg BW in mice, and the subchronic toxicity study, used a dosage of 0.34 g/kg/d.BW, showed that the toxic components of Aster tataricus L. f. were mainly concentrated in the petroleum ether fraction, followed by the ethyl acetate fraction, the n-butyl alcohol fraction, the lower aqueous phase and the 75% ethanol extracts.

Keywords: Aster tataricus L. f.; Acute toxicity; Subchronic toxicity; Cytokines; Hepatic injury


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eISSN: 0189-6016