In vivo and in silico toxicity profiling of aerial part of Andrographis paniculata revealed potential to precipitate organs toxicity
The many medicinal properties of Andrographis paniculata have made it an important resource in drug discovery. The commonly used powdered aerial part of A. paniculata is however a subject of abuse occasioned by indiscriminate use, raising safety concerns. In this study, we evaluated the safety profile of the suspension of the powdered aerial part of A. paniculata in male and female rats using single and repeated dose toxicity profiling, and the in silico toxicity profiling of its known phytochemicals, with a view to establishing organs safety. Our results showed significant sex dependent alterations in key haematological and biochemical indices. Significant alteration in liver and kidney histo-architectures were consistent with the observed significant increase in AST/ALT ratio and with the in silico toxicity screening of A. paniculata phytochemicals, including andrographolide, which showed potential for hepatotoxicity, binding of proteins and DNA, and inhibition of hERG II. We conclude that, while taking advantage of the many medicinal benefits of this plant, the unguarded and indiscriminate uses may precipitate organ toxicity, induce cellular alteration and potentiate possible cardiovascular risk.