Evaluation of the effects upon chronic administration of aqueous leaves extract of Moringa stenopetala on blood parameters and histology of liver and kidney of Wistar rats

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa Universty


The world people use plants for the purpose of disease control and prevention as well as for nutritional purpose since prehistoric times. One of the plants used for such purpose is Moringa species. Traditionally, Moringa stenopetala and related species are used as antihypertensives, antidiabetics, anticancers, antioxidants, antimicrobials, antimalarials and edible material. Among the various species of Moringa, Moringa stenopetala locally known as “Shiferaw/Haleko” is indigenous to the Southwest region of Ethiopia. Despite its important functions and widespread uses, there are very limited studies carried out on the hematological and histological effects of Moringa stenopetala to investigate its safety. In previous acute and subchronic studies, no effects were observed on body weight, gross pathology as well as histology of kidney and liver (except a mixed inflammatory cells infiltration and slight activation of Kupffer cells). Similarly, there was no effect on hematological and biochemical parameters. However, it is not known if it is same in a prolonged administration of the extract. Hence, this study is aimed to find out if there is any sign of toxicity upon chronic (six months) oral administration of aqueous leaves extract of Moringa stenopetala on blood parameters and histology of liver and kidney of Wistar rats. The study was carried out at Ethiopian Public Health Institute and Addis Ababa University. The plant was collected from Arba Minch and aqueous extract was prepared. The experiment was conducted on 24 rats. They were grouped randomly into four; one control group administered distilled water and three experimental groups were administered aqueous extract of the leaves of Moringa stenopetala at the doses of 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg body weight orally for six months of chronic toxicity study by using OECD guidelines. There was no significant change (p>0.05) in body and organ weights, except a transitory decrease in body weight at the 2nd and 3rd weeks as compared to the controls, respectively in the female and male rats that received the extract at the dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight . Chronic treatment with 500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight of the leaf of aqueous extract did not significantly affect (p>0.05) most of the investigated hematological parameters. However, it induced significant (p<0.05) elevation in MCV of female rats at all doses when compared with X | P a g e the control. There is also decrement of MCH at doses of 1000 mg/kg and 2000 mg/kg significantly, (p<0.05) as compared to the control in male rats. There was no significant (p>0.05) difference in ALP, AST, ALT and total bilirubin in female rats administered at all doses as compared to the controls. However, the ALP of male rats that received 2000 mg/kg body weight, AST and ALT of male rats that received 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight were found significantly (p<0.05) increased as compared to the controls. Chronic treatment with the extract did not significantly affect the urea and creatinine levels, except in the female rats that received the extract at 2000 mg/kg where a significant (p<0.05) decrease in urea and increase in creatinine levels as compared to the controls were observed. Histological evaluation showed some mononuclear leukocytic infiltration around the portal traid and central vein of the liver as well as cytoplasmic vacuolization of hepatocytes in male rats treated the extract at 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight; Furthermore, there were mononuclear leukocytic infiltrations around the glomeruli and medullary regions, as well as widened urinary space of the kidneys at 2000 mg/kg body weight in female rats. Findings from the present study suggest that prolonged administration of the aqueous leaf extract of Moringa stenopetala at therapeutic dose is safe; however, it was toxic as doses accumulate.



Wistar rats, Moringa stenopetala, chronic toxicity, histology of liver and kidney, hematological and biochemical parameters