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Stem Bark Extracts of <i>Ficus exasperata</i> protects the Liver against Paracetamol induced toxicity in Wistar Rats

AB Enogieru
YO Charles
SI Omoruyi
OI Momodu
VC Ezeuko


Ficus exasperata is an important medicinal plant with a wide geographical
distribution in Africa particularly in Nigeria. In this study, aqueous stem bark extracts of Ficus exasperata were administered to investigate its hepatoprotective effects on Paracetamol induced liver toxicity in Wistar rats. A total of Twenty Five Wistar rats were randomly divided into five
groups labeled A-E and kept in a well ventilated room. Group A served as control and were treated with distilled water. Rats in groups B-E were all treated with Paracetamol (800mg/kg body weight) but rats in group C, D and E were however pretreated with Silymarin (50 mg/kg bw), 100mg/kg bw aqueous stem bark extracts of Ficus exasperata and 200mg/kg bw aqueous stem bark extracts of Ficus exasperata respectively one hour before Paracetamol administration for fourteen days. Animals were sacrificed twenty four hours after the last treatment. Blood samples were collected into heparinized bottles for biochemical estimation of liver enzymes and the liver was harvested for routine histological examination. Paracetamol produced significant changes in biochemical parameters (increases in serum Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate  Aminotransferase (AST), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), with a reduction in Total protein) and Liver histology (damage to hepatocytes). Pretreatment with Silymarin and aqueous stem bark extracts of Ficus exasperata  significantly prevented the biochemical and histological changes induced by Paracetamol in the liver. In conclusion, our histological and biochemical findings indicate that aqueous stem bark extracts of Ficus exasperata possesses hepatoprotective properties. © JASEM