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Effects Of <I>Calotropis procera</I> Latex on Biochemical and Hematological Parameters in Albino Rats

K. Samuel
Y.I. Sudi


Calotropis procera is a wild-growing plant that belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae, commonly found in the tropical regions and is used in the treatment of diseases such as ulcer, inflammation, wound healing, etc. This confers to the increased use of medicinal plants as the major source of traditional medicine worldwide. This study is aimed at evaluating the toxicological effects of Calotropis procera latex on biochemical and hematological parameters in albino rats with a view to understanding the safety of the latex following systemic use. Fifteen (15) albino rats were divided into five groups of three rats each. Group one served as the control, group two received 0.05 ml of the latex solution per kg body weight of the rats , group three received 0.2 ml of the latex solution per kg body weight of the rats , group four received 0.4 ml of the latex solution per kg body weight of the rats , while group five received 0.6 ml of the latex solution per kg body weight of the rats for 14 days. Biochemical evaluations revealed a significant increase in the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (83.33 ± 1.76c) and total bilirubin (6.27 ± 4.44b) and a progressive decrease in albumin (3.93 ± 0.04a) with increased concentration of the latex. There was no significant change in the levels of alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase in all the treated groups. Hematological analyses revealed a significant (p<0.05) decrease in packed cell volume (31.33 ± 1.76a), hemoglobin (10.43 ± 0.59a), red blood cell count (3.90 ± 0.06a) and total white blood cell count (4.10 ± 0.15a) in all the treated groups compared to the control. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that Calotropis procera latex is relatively toxic as observed in the blood and biochemical parameters related to liver function. Hence, it is recommended that caution should be taken in its use for the treatments of diseases such as wound healing as exposure to the circulatory system can cause vulnerability to its toxic effects.

Keywords: Albino rats, Toxicity, Calotropis procera, latex, biochemical, hematological parameters

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print ISSN: 0189-1731