Effect of sub-acute exposure to bonny light crude oil on plasma biochemistry and liver histopathology of albino rat
The study investigated the consequences of the effect of sub-acute exposure to Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil (BLCO) crude oil on the blood chemistry and integrity of the liver of male albino rats. A total of 20 male wistar rats were used for the study. Exposure to crude oil was achieved by oral administration of increasing doses (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.0 ml of BLCO/g body weight) to the rats every day for two weeks. The initial and final body weights were recorded. The toxic effects on the liver were accessed using commercial kits and histopathological studies were carried out using standard histopathological technique. The results revealed that liver cells were damaged due to the crude oil administered. There was significant increase (p<0.05) in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities and total and direct bilirubin concentrations, and a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the total protein concentration as compared with the control group. Histopathological examinations indicated that crude oil caused severe pathological changes, it also revealed mild to severe disruption of the normal architectural structure of the liver accompanied by the death of many liver cells and the presence of pocket of blood within the liver parenchyma and cholangitis in the group treated with the highest dose (1.00 ml of BLCO /g body weight). The results therefore indicate that the sub-acute administration of the crude oil brought about impaired function of the liver which could lead to liver disease at very low doses and are such the use of the crude oil as a therapy to poisons, convulsion and other gastrointestinal disorders should be discouraged.
Keywords: Crude oil, Blood chemistry, Enzymes, Histopathology, Hepatocytes