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Aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts of <i>Ocimum basilicum</i> (sweet basil) protect against sodium arsenite-induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar rats

MA Gbadegesin
OA Odunola


We evaluated the effects of aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts of Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil) on sodium arsenite-induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar rats. We observed that treatment of the animals with the extracts before or just after sodium arsenite administration significantly (p < 0.05) reduced mean liver and serum γ-Glutamyl transferase (γGT), and serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities when compared with the group administered the toxin alone. In addition, treatments of the animals with aqueous or ethanolic extract of O. basilicum before the administration of sodium arsenite resulted in the attenuation of the sodium arsenite-induced aspartate and alanine aminotransferase activities: ALT (from 282.6 % to 167.7 % and 157.8 %), AST (from 325.1 % to 173.5 % and 164.2 %) for the group administered sodium arsenite alone, the aqueous extracts plus sodium arsenite, and ethanolic extracts plus sodium arsenite respectively, expressed as percentage of the negative control. These findings support the presence of hepatoprotective activity in the O.basilicum extracts.

Keywords: Ocimum basilicum, hepatotoxicity, sodium arsenite, γ-glutamyl transferase, environmental contaminant

Nig. J. Physiol. Sci. 25(2010) 29 – 36

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eISSN: 0794-859X