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Medicines 2018, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5010004

Sub-Chronic Toxicity of the Hydroethanolic Leaf Extract of Telfairia occidentalis Hook. f. (Cucurbitaceae) in Male Rats

1
Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba Campus, P.M.B. 12003 Lagos, Nigeria
2
National Biotechnology Development Agency, Umaru Musa Ya’adua Way, Lugbe, P.M.B. 5118 Abuja, Nigeria
3
Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba Campus, P.M.B. 12003 Lagos, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 31 December 2017 / Published: 6 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines and Functional Foods)
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Abstract

Background: Due to its nutritional and medicinal values, the leaf of Telfairia occidentalis Hook f. (Cucurbitaceae) is consumed in different parts of Nigeria. Acute and sub-chronic toxicity of the hydroethanolic leaf extract of Telfairia occidentalis were investigated in this study. Methods: Sixty-four male rats were randomized into four different groups of 16 animals each and were separately administered 80, 400 and 2000 mg/kg T. occidentalis orally (p.o.) for 60 days. Animals were sacrificed and blood samples were collected for hematological and biochemical analyses. Vital organs were harvested and evaluated for in vivo antioxidants and histopathological changes. Results: A significant (p < 0.05) reduction in weight of the testes, compared to the control group, was observed in the group treated with 2000 mg/kg extract. No significant change was observed in the weight of other vital organs relative to the control group. There were significant (p < 0.01) increases in sperm motility and count in the group administered 80 mg/kg extract and significant (p < 0.001) reductions in both parameters at 2000 mg/kg. There were significant increases in the levels of hemoglobin and packed cell volume at 80 and 2000 mg/kg of the extract. In respect of liver function parameters, significant reductions in aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels at doses of 400 and 2000 mg/kg relative to control were observed. Compared to control, the extract significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the level of total cholesterol (400 mg/kg) and caused a significant increase in the level of high-density lipoprotein (80, 400 and 2000 mg/kg). Significant (p < 0.05) increase in the level of malondialdehyde, decrease in superoxide dismutase level and histopathological abnormalities were observed in the testes at 2000 mg/kg. Upon cessation of treatment with T. occidentalis for 30 days, the observed effects were reversed. Conclusions: The findings showed that the hydroethanolic leaf extract of Telfairia occidentalis is relatively non-toxic on acute and sub-chronic exposures at low to moderate doses, with the potential to elicit anti-anemic effects, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and enhance antioxidant status in the brain and liver. Although possibly beneficial at low to moderate doses, the extract could be harmful to the testes with prolonged oral exposure at high dose. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluted pumpkin; Cucurbitaceae; toxicological; biochemical; hematological; antioxidant fluted pumpkin; Cucurbitaceae; toxicological; biochemical; hematological; antioxidant
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Akindele, A.J.; Oladimeji-Salami, J.A.; Oyetola, R.A.; Osiagwu, D.D. Sub-Chronic Toxicity of the Hydroethanolic Leaf Extract of Telfairia occidentalis Hook. f. (Cucurbitaceae) in Male Rats. Medicines 2018, 5, 4.

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