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Acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies of aqueous extract of <i>Icacina trichantha</i> Oliv. leaves in rodents

O Timothy
I Igbe
M Idu
G.I. Eze
O Edosuyi


This study evaluated the acute and sub-chronic oral toxicity of aqueous extract of the leaves of Icacina trichantha Oliv. The powdered leaves (2 kg) were extracted by decoction in 2 L of distilled water to obtain the aqueous extract. Acute toxicity test was conducted by a single oral administration of the extract in graded dose of 1, 2, 4 and 8 g/kg p.o to four groups of albino mice respectively, while control group received 10 ml/kg p.o. of distilled water. Sub-chronic toxicity test was carried out in Wistar rats of both sexes after daily administration of the extract for 28 days at 100 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg p.o. Control group received 4 ml/kg p.o. of distilled water. All animals were observed for signs of toxicity and mortality. Changes in body weights, haematology, biochemical parameters, organ to body weight ratio, and organ histology were also examined. Acute and sub-chronic toxicity recorded no mortalities in both male and female animals. Body weight profile and organ histology among experimental groups were not significantly different (P>0.05) compared with control. Platelet counts, serum alkaline phosphatase and relative liver weight index were altered significantly (P<0.05), while organ to body weight index for the other organs were not significantly different (P>0.05) from the control. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in electrolytes, urea and creatinine levels. Histopathological studies revealed mild congestion in the heart, liver and lungs, while the kidneys and spleen had no abnormalities. Aside the changes noticed in the platelets and liver, high doses of the aqueous extract of I. trichantha leaves were tolerated in single and repeated 28 days daily administration. However, more specific tests are required to eliminate the possibility of toxicity on liver cells.

Keywords: Acute, sub-chronic, toxicity, aqueous extract, Icacina trichantha, leaves