Effect of Viscum album (mistletoe) on some serum enzymes, weight and cytoarchitectue of the liver in high salt loaded rats

  • OE Ofem
  • E J Ani
  • E Y Okongor
  • A Okot-Asi
  • AE Eno
  • J O Ibu
Keywords: Mistletoe extract, salt diet, serum enzymes, liver, rats.


The effect of chronic consumption of crude mistletoe extract on serum enzymes, weight and cytoarchitecture of the liver was studied in normal and high salt fed rats. Twenty four albino rats of the Wistar strain were randomized into four groups of 6 rats each. Group 1 took normal rat chow + drinking water. Group 2 took same as group 1 + mistletoe extract (150mg/kg body weight) orally once daily. Group 3 took high salt (8% NaCl) diet + 1% NaCl drinking water and group 4 was fed same as group 3 + mistletoe extract (150mg/kg of body weight) orally once daily. These regimens lasted for six weeks. Results revealed reduction in body weight and enlargement of the liver in salt fed (untreated) group relative to other groups. The mean ALP level (363.08 + 22.59 I.U/L) in group 2 animals was significantly reduced (P<0.01) compared with control (476.83 + 17.14 I.U/L). Group 3 had a significantly higher (P<0.05) ALP level (596.12 + 34.83 I.U/L) compared with control, while the reduction in ALP level observed in group 4 animals (536.33 + 37.33 I.U/L) was not significantly different from control or salt fed groups. The ALT and AST levels were significantly higher in salt fed rats (55.50 + 3.78; P<0.05 and 103.67 + 0.76; P<0.001 respectively vs control). The reductions in mean ALT (38 + 5.61) and AST (83.33 + 4.01) observed in group 2 were not significantly different from control values (45.83 + 0.04 and 88.67 + 1.28 respectively). The salt + extract fed rats had reduced ALT and AST levels compared to salt fed rats (P<0.01). Photomicrograph of a section of the liver in high salt fed group shows marked necrotic condition, pyknosis, karyorrhexis, numerous but deranged sinusoids, with many pockets of lipid deposits similar to that of alcoholic syndrome, signifying degeneration of the hepatocytes. In conclusion, salt loading increases serum levels of ALT, ALP and AST and leads to reduction in body weight and increase in liver weight in rats; Chronic mistletoe consumption tends to ameliorate these anomalies.

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 7 (1) 2008 pp. 1-6

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