Main Article Content
Design: Experimental study
Setting: Department of Biological Sciences at the Chepkoilel University College, Moi University
Subjects: Fourteen (14) reproductively mature and healthy small East African male goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) from Kerio Valley in Rift Valley province of Kenya.
Intervention: Plasma electrolytes (Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Cl-), urea, creatine and glucose levels were investigated in eight control and fourteen experimental small East African male goats before and after treatment with Catha edulis leaf extracts. At the end of the study the animals’ were sacrificed and their kidneys extracted for histological examination.
Results: mean sodium and calcium levels were lower in treated animals than nontreated animals (138 v/s 143.6 mmol/L and 3.3 v/s 2.2 mmol/L respectively), p<0.001 Plasma glucose levels also declined from 4.0-4.1mmol/L to 3.3-3.5mmol/L following the Catha edulis leaf extract treatment. However serum nitrogenous metabolites levels increased significantly in Catha edulis treated animals (urea; 6.5 v/s 5.2 mmol/L and
creatine; 69.9 v/s 55.4 mmol/L). Histological examination of renal tissue of Catha edulis treated animals revealed degenerative changes and hypercellularity in the glomeruli as well as interstitial inflammatory cell infiltration. Nuclei of proximal convoluted tubule cells also appeared pyknotic while those of the macula densa appeared granular.
Conclusion: The present study showed that Catha edulis treatment was associated with electrolyte imbalance which may have been as a result of degenerative changes in the renal system. The findings are a pointer to the fact that Catha edulis use may predispose the users to renal disorders and subsequent electrolyte imbalance.