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Toxico-Pathological Effects of Saponins from Massularia acuminata Stem in Male Wistar Rats

MT Yakubu
KK Ajidagba
MA Akanji
MA Oladiji
TO Ajiboye
KO Ibrahim
SO Oguntoye
MO Salawu
MO Nafiu


Saponins from Massularia acuminata stem have been implicated to be responsible for some of the pharmacological effects of the plant without recourse to its toxic implications. Therefore, the toxic implications of saponins from Massularia acuminata stem in some organs of male rats were investigated. Male rats (271.00±5.30 g) grouped into A, B, C and D were orally administered distilled water, 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight of saponins for 14 days. The biochemical indices of tissue damage corroborated with histological studies were evaluated in male rats using standard methods. Saponin confirmed with vanillin-perchloric acid and 6% erythrocyte in phosphate buffered saline significantly (P<0.05) increased serum potassium, sodium, phosphate, urea, creatinine, total and conjugated bilirubin; alkaline and acid phosphatases (ALP and ACP) in the kidney, liver and serum, glutamte pyruvate transaminase (GPT) in the liver and kidney. The testicular body-weight ratio, ALP, serum GPT, uric acid, globulin, albumin and calcium ions were reduced (P<0.05). Glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase activity (GOT) increased in the kidney, testes and serum whereas it decreased in the liver. The histoarchitecture of the organs were preserved during esposure period. The saponins caused only functional dysfunction of the organs but not structural and thus not completely ‘safe’ as an oral remedy.