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Effect of Sub-Chronic Administration of <i>Tetracera potatoria</i> Roots Extract and Betulinic Acid from the Plant on Haematology and Serum Biochemistry of Wistar Rats

BO Oyebanji
OA Oridupa
TO Ajibade
AB Saba


Tetracera potatoria is used as natural remedy for a wide range of diseases in West Africa. Anti-ulcerogenic and anti inflammatory effects of T. potatoria are reported to be induced by Betulinic acid (BA). This study was aimed at assessment of the safety of T. potatoria and BA using acute and sub-chronic toxicity methods.

Methanol extract of T. potatoria root (100, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) and BA (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) isolated from the extract were administered to Wistar rats for 28 consecutive days in the subchronic toxicity study. Each experiment had control groups (n=5) which were administered with distilled water (10ml/kg). Whole blood and serum samples were collected from the rats for hematology and serum biochemistry on day 29.

T. potatoria extract induced significant decreases in PCV from 42.8±1.5% (control) to 32.7±2.2% (1000mg/kg) 6 and RBC from 12.8±0.4 X10 /μl to 6 11.6±9.1X10 /μl, but increased WBC 3 levels from 7.8±2.3 X10 /μl (control) to 3 9.1±1.2 X10 /μl (500mg/kg). BA induced decreases in PCV from 42.8±1.2% to 41.8±0.4%, and RBC 6 from 12.7±7.6X10 /μl to 6.1±1.1 6 X10 /μl. Serum biochemistry showed significant increases in ALT from  48.5±2.2 U/L to 66.75±12.5 in rats administered with BA (40mg/kg), but relatively normal AST. Triglyceride levels were non-significantly reduced in T. potatoria treated rats but were increased from 74.0±3.8 mg/dl (control) to 139.3±4.8 mg/dl in rats administered with BA (40 mg/kg).

In conclusion, sub-acute administration of T. potatoria root was relatively nontoxic, but BA showed relatively more toxicity to blood cells and a tendency to cause dyslipidemia.

Keywords: Tetracera potatoria, Betulinic acid, haematology, serum biochemistry

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eISSN: 0331-3026