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The effect of ethanolic leaf extract of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre (SPJ) on liver function and hematological indices of cadmium chloride-induced toxicity in male albino wistar rats was investigated after 21 days of administration of the plant extract. Thirty (30) matured male wistar rats of albino strain were weighed and grouped into six (6) groups of five (5) animals per group according to their relative weight. Group 1 and 2 served as the negative and positive control group respectively. The animals in group 1 were not given the extract. Group 2 were given cadmium chloride at the concentration of 10mg/kg body weight. Group 3, 4, 5, and 6 served as the treatment groups receiving 200, 400, 200, and 400mg/kg of the plant extract for 21 days respectively. Group 3 and 4 were given 10mg/kg of cadmium chloride on the 22nd day. Administration of cadmium chloride (Cdcl2) at the concentration of 10mg/kgbw in group 2 (positive control) resulted in an increase in the mean serum AST value (243.75 ± 72.89) when compared to negative control (group 1) (161.00 ± 33.97). This is also visible in the mean serum ALT value (88.25 ± 29.69) when compared with the negative control (52.20 ± 12.01). There is a decrease in the mean serum AST value in group 3 and 4 (136.80 ± 33.00 and 77.50 ± 31.08) when compared to the positive control group having an increase mean serum AST value (243.75 ± 72.89). This is also same for mean serum ALT mean value (60.20 ± 23.62 and 44.25 ± 11.98) in group 3 and 4 when compared to the positive control group (88.25 ± 29.69). In haematological evaluation, white blood cell was not significantly altered.  The effect of the extract in the final body weight and absolute liver weight of the experimental animals were also observed in the treatment groups when compared to the negative control group

Keywords: Shenocentrum jollyanum pierre, cadmium chloride, wistar rats, liver function.






1.1   Background of the Study

The use of medicinal plants as a substitute for orthodox drugs in the management of various diseases has been increasing globally due to the unavailability of modern health facilities, relative availability of medicinal herbs and recent revelations that they possess active compounds that may be responsible for different biological and pharmacological actions (Tiwari and Mehta, 2013).

Herbs and herbal formulations for the treatment of ailments have continued to receive increased attention because of the strong belief that these products are safe (Farnsworth and Soejarto, 1985; Said et al., 2002). This assumption to a large extent may have influenced the indiscriminate use of these formulations by many, particularly amongst the rural populace. The incidence of adverse effects and sometimes life-threatening conditions allegedly emanating from these herbal medicines has been reported among various ethnic groups (Elvin-Lewis, 2001; Chan, 2003). Consequently, it has become imperative to ascertain the toxicity profile of these medicinal herbs.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, it is estimated that close to 80% of the people living in the third world nations of the world depend on traditional and complementary medicines for their basic health care.

Sphenocentrum jollyanum Pierre (Menispermaceae) is a perennial plant that grows naturally along the west coast sub-region of Africa with expanse from Cameroon across Nigeria to Sierra Leone (Mbaka et al, 2010). It occurs in undergrowth of dense forest, which thrives in deep shade from sea-level up to 400m altitude (Nia et al, 2004). It is mostly found in regions with mean annual rainfall of 1800 mm or more, mean minimum temperature of 20◦C, and mean maximum of 29◦C.

Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre is a medicinal plant which has been shown to display a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological activities. The plant has various parts which contain wide array of phytochemicals that has medicinal values. From the existing knowledge, there is no literature on its toxicity profile. Its medicinal importance was first reported by Dalziel (1955) in which it was noted that the leaves decoctions were used as vermifuge.

Many scientific work has been carried out on this plant in relation to his antioxidant property (Nia et al, 2004), antidiabetic role (Mbaka et al, 2011), antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity (Moody et al, 2006), wound healing property, hepatoprotective effect (Olorunnisola et al, 2011), sexual stimulant activity (Owiredu et al, 2007) etc.

Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre contains phytochemicals which include saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, anthraquinones, tannins (Amidu et al, 2008; Woode et al, 2009; Mbaka et al, 2011).


1.2   Statement of Problem

Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre extracts has a broad spectrum of biologic and pharmacological activities. The extract obtained from the various parts of the plants are used in the management of various health conditions owing to the phytochemicals present which confer its therapeutic effect. For instance, normal levels of biochemical parameters (such as alkaline phosphatase {ALP}, aspartate aminotransferase {AST}, alanine aminotransferase {ALT}, bilirubin) in serum may reflect the normal functioning status of a body’s organ such as the liver but changes in the levels of these biochemical parameters greater than or less than the normal reference range is a useful indicator of the diseased state of the liver. The liver biochemical parameters measured are being released into the blood when there is a damage to the cell membrane of the liver . Measurement of these biochemical parameters are of value in the diagnosis and management of wide variety of diseases of the liver. Hence, this study was designed to ascertain the effects of Sphenocentrum jollyanum  pierre leaves extract on liver biochemical parameters and also on haematological indices  of male albino wistar rats after administration of cadmium chloride as a known toxicant.


1.3   Aims and Objectives

To ascertain the effect of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre (Menispermaceae) leaf extract on liver function and haematological indices of cadmium chloride induced toxicity in male albino wistar rats.


1.4   Significance of the Study

          Humans on daily basis however are exposed to xenobiotics and thus try to eliminate them from the body system by means of metabolism. The liver and kidney are responsible to metabolized these xenobiotics and can itself be damaged or its integrity compromised. This can pose a serious health threat or complications including liver failure, kidney failure and in a more severe case cause death.

          Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre is primarily used in Nigeria and other tropical regions of Africa for medicinal purposes to treat several diseases and has also been suggested to exert protective medicinal effect on the liver and the kidney.

          This study “effects of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre leaves extract in cadmium chloride-induced toxicity in male albino wistar rats” was designed to investigate and justify that the plant extract has a protective medicinal effects on the functions of the liver and also on haematological parameters. It also helps to know the proper doses and treatment for certain diseases.


1.5   Scope of Study

The scope of work covered the ascertainment of the following:

1.           Extraction of crude extract of the leaf of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre with 80% ethanol.

2.           Determination of LD50 of the plant extract.

3.           Preparation of the stock solution of the plant extract

4.           Preparation of the administered dose of the plant extract per body weight of the animals.

5.           Preparation of cadmium chloride solution.

6.           Dissection of the rats at the end of the administration to obtain blood sample for biochemical analysis of the liver, haematological analysis, and collection of organs (liver) for tissue histology.

7.           Determination of the effect of ethanol extract of the leaves of the plant on liver biochemical parameters, haematological indices, and the organs.

8.           Data analysis and calculation.

9.           Statistical analysis.

1.6   Hypothesis

The following hypothesis serves as a guide to this study.

Null Hypothesis: There is no significant diferrence (p>0.05) on the parameters analysed after administration of ethanol extract of the leaves of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre against cadmium chloride-induced in adult male wistar rats of albino strain.

Alternate Hypothesis: There is a significant difference (p<0.05) on the parameters analysed after administration of ethanol extract of the leaves of Sphenocentrum jollyanum pierre against cadmium chloride-induced toxicity in adult male wistar rats of albino strain.






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