Effects of hydroalcoholic seed extracts of aristolochia elegans on renal and hepatic function of rats.

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Chileshe, Mwitwa
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The University of Zambia
Aristolochia species grow in different parts of Zambia and are used globally for medicinal purposes. Many Aristolochia species have been associated with adverse effects including renal and hepatic dysfunction. This study investigated the effects of hydro-alcoholic seed extract of Aristolochia elegans growing in Zambia on renal and hepatic function of rats. The study investigated the phytochemical content of the seed extracts of Aristolochia elegans and an in vivo experimental design with Wistar albino rats was used to investigate effect of extract on biomarkers of renal and hepatic function. Twenty five rats were divided into five equal groups. Group 1 (negative control) received normal saline orally, groups 2, 3, and 4 received 500, 333, and 167mg/kg oral doses of A. elegans crude extract respectively, group 5 (positive control) received 1000mg/Kg Paracetamol orally, for ten days. Blood samples were collected from the rats by cardiac puncture and the sera were analyzed for sodium, potassium, chloride, creatinine, urea, Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Total protein and Albumin. Sub chronic toxicity testing showed that renal function biomarkers; sodium, potassium, urea and chloride concentrations in the test groups did not differ significantly from the concentrations in the negative control group p > 0.05. Creatinine levels in the negative controls 43.8μmol/L +/- 7.3, 95% CI [23.7-63.9] was significantly higher than that found in the experimental groups 2, 3 and 4, 22.4+/-1.7 95% CI [17.8-6.9], 22.1 +/- 2.0, 95% CI [16.6-27.5] and 24.3+/- 1.7 8μmol/L 95% CI [19.6-28.9], respectively, P= 0.002, however concentrations of both test groups and negative control were within expected ranges for rats. Albumin, Alkaline phosphatase, Alanine amino transferase and Total protein concentrations in the test groups did not differ significantly from the concentrations in the negative control p > 0.05. The study concludes that Aristolochia elegans hydro alcoholic seed extract did not appear to exert any effect on renal and hepatic function at the doses administered. We suggest further studies on the patho-morphological effects of the extract to provide more insight.
Thesis of Master of Science in Pharmacology.