Evaluation of the acute and sub-chronic toxicity of aqueous extracts of Moringa stenopetala seeds on kidneys, liver, and some blood parameters of Wistar rats

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Addis Abeba University


Traditional medicine is the oldest and culture-based method of the health care system. Among the traditional medicine practices, the use of herbal medicines is the most popular and used by most populations around the globe. M. stenopetala is one of the herbs used as a treatment for various illnesses in different Ethiopian societies. Although there are some data available regarding the various biological activities of the different parts of Moringa plants, that of safety study is scarce, especially relating to the extract of its seeds. The objective of this study was to evaluate the acute and sub-chronic toxic effect of orally administered aqueous extracts of M. stenopetala seeds on gross and histopathology of kidneys and liver, and some blood parameters of Wistar rats. For the acute toxicity study, 15 female rats were randomly divided into five groups with three rats in each group. The experimental groups (Groups I - IV) received a single dose of 300mg/Kg, 2000mg/kg, 3500mg/Kg, and 5000mg/kg of the extract, respectively, while the control group (Group V) received distilled water orally. For the sub-chronic toxicity study, 24 rats for each sex were randomly divided into four groups, each group comprising of six rats. The rats in the experimental groups (Groups I - III) received 250mg/Kg, 500mg/Kg, and 1000mg/kg oral dose of the extract for 90 days, and the control group (Group IV) received distilled water for a similar duration. In an acute toxicity study, LD 50 of the aqueous extract of M. stenopetala seeds was found to be above 5000mg/Kg dose. There were no observed apparent significant differences between the experimental groups and the control group in body weight gain, relative kidneys and liver weight, and gross pathological changes at the end of the 14 days experimental period. In the sub-chronic toxicity study, there was no mortality in all experimental rats of both sexes. Besides, there were no substantial changes in the general condition, hematological and biochemical values, and relative organ weight of the kidney and liver. Moreover, the light microscopic histopathological examination of sections of the kidney and liver showed no change in the treatment groups as compared with the control group in both sexes. Therefore, this study demonstrated that 90 days oral administration of aqueous M. stenopetala seeds extracts are relatively safe in rats up to 1000mg/Kg dose.



M. stenopetala seeds, Acute and sub-chronic toxicity, Traditional medicine