ALKALOIDAL COMPOSITION AND TOXICITY STUDIES OF THREE NIGERIAN CROTALARIA SPECIES

  • H Nuhu Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
  • M Shok Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
  • EM Abdurahman Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
  • NDG Ibrahim Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Keywords: Crotalaria, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, toxic plants, necrosis, hyperaemia

Abstract

The study of the alkaloids of three Crotalaria species was carried out with special reference to their toxicity. These are Crotalaria microcarpa Hochst: Crotalaria naragutensis, Hutch. and Crotalaria retusa L. Alkaloids was detected in the leaves and aerial parts of all the three species except the leaves of C. naragutensis. Mattock's test for unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (hepatotoxic) revealed that only C. retusa contained these alkaloids amongst the three species. This indicated that this is a potentially toxic specie. The alkaloids of C. retusa were toxic to albino (Wistar) rats. Marked microscopic lesions were found, principally in the liver. The lungs, kidneys and intestine also had significant toxic features. Toxicity pattern was typical of the alkaloid monocrotaline.

Key Words: Crotalaria; pyrrolizidine alkaloids; toxic plants, necrosis, hyperaemia.

Nig. J. Nat Prod. And Med. Vol.4 2000: 43-45
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