Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine

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Antimalarial and toxicological effects of aqueous leaf extract of Lawsonia inermis Lythraceae (Linn) alone and in combination with Alstonia boonei on Plasmodium berghei- infected mice

L.A. Sulaimon, R.A. Adisa, E.A. Balogun, O.G. Ademowo


Background: Lawsonia inermis Lythraceae (Linn) and Alstonia boonei De wild are well known for their antimalarial potentials in traditional medicine. However, there is no scientific evidence for this claim.

Objective: The aim was to evaluate the in vivo antimalarial and toxicological effects of the aqueous extracts of Lawsonia inermis alone and in combination with Alstonia boonei in Plasmodium berghei infected mice

Method: Fifty four mice were divided into 9 groups of 6 mice each. Groups 1 – 3 were healthy control, P. berghei infected and P. berghei infected mice treated with Chloroquine dose (positive control), respectively. Groups 4 – 6 were P. berghei infected mice orally administered 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg of Lawsonia inermis while groups 7 – 9 were also P. berghei infected mice but received 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg of Lawsonia inermis and Alstonia boonei extracts. All infected mice were inoculated with malaria parasites on the first day and extracts administration
commenced on the fourth day and lasted for 7 days. The mice were sacrificed on the 14th day post-inoculation and the activities of liver, kidney and serum enzymes were analyzed.

Results: The treatment of parasitized mice with Lawsonia inermis at 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight showed the most significant (p<0.05) antimalarial activity against P. berghei infection. A combined treatment with Lawsonia inermis and Alstonia boonei suppressed malarial infection significantly (p<0.05) at 50 mg/kg and increased packed cell volume (PCV). Administration of 100 mg/kg L. inermis significantly (p<0.05) elevated the activities of alanine amino transaminase (ALT) and aspartate amino transaminase (AST) in the liver and kidneys but not in the
serum. Also, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was increased in the liver, kidneys and serum by 100 mg/kg Lawsonia inermis alone.

Conclusion: Findings revealed the chemosuppressive potential of Lawsonia inermis against P. berghei as well as its toxicity to the liver and kidney.

Keywords:  Lawsonia inermis, Alstonia boonei, Plasmodium berghei, Parasitemia, Amino transferases

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