Histological Studies Of The Teratogenic Effects Of Oral Administration Of Aspilia Africana (Asteraceae) Leaf Extract On The Developing Liver Of Neonatal Wistar Rats
cellular hypertrophy, hepatocytes, histological effect, liver and wistar rats, vacuolations
A Eweka. Histological Studies Of The Teratogenic Effects Of Oral Administration Of Aspilia Africana (Asteraceae) Leaf Extract On The Developing Liver Of Neonatal Wistar Rats. The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2006 Volume 5 Number 1.
Histological studies of the teratogenic effects of oral administration of extract of <I>Aspilia africana</I>, used in ethno medical practice in Africa for the management of various ailments, on the developing liver of neonatal Wistar rats were carefully studied. The rats (n=24), average weight 0f 180g were randomly assigned into two treatments (n=16) and control (n=8) groups. The rats in the treatment groups received 0.5g/kg and 1g/kg of aqueous extract of <I>Aspilia africana</I> orally through orogastric tube in the first seven days of gestation, while the control rats received equal volume of distilled water without the extract of <I>Aspilia</I> added. The rats were fed with growers' mash purchased from Edo feeds and Flour Mill Ltd, Ewu, Edo state and were given water liberally. After parturition, the liver sections were obtained from the pups or neonates and quickly fixed in 10% formal saline for routine histological study after H&E method.
The histological findings after H&E methods indicated that the treated sections of the liver showed evidence of dilatations of the central veins, which contained lysed red blood cells and cyto-architectural distortions of the hepatocytes, centrilobular hemorrhagic necrosis, atrophic and degenerative changes with the group that received 1g/kg of the extract of <I>Aspilia africana</I> more severe. These findings suggest the direct cytotoxic effect of aqueous extract of <I>Aspilia africana</I> resulting from placenta transfer during pregnancy to the neonates. This study highlights the possible abnormalities that could result in a newborn when a pregnant animal is exposed to aqueous extract of <I>Aspilia africana</I> in the first few days of pregnancy. The results of this experiment suggest that the functions of the liver could also have been affected as a result of the massive cyto-architectural distortion. It is recommended that further studies aimed at corroborating these findings be carried out.
Birth defects are known to occur in 3-5% of newborns1. They are the leading cause of infant mortality in the first year of life2. 7-10% of all will require extensive medical care to diagnose or treat a birth defect3. Although significant progress has been made in identifying etiological causes of some birth defects, approximately 65% have no known or identifiable cause4. Plant materials as sources of medical compounds continue to play a dominant role in the maintenance of human health since antiquity. Over 50% of all modern chemical drugs are of natural plant product origin, and is essential in drug development programs of the pharmaceutical industry5.Like any therapeutic agent, when overdosed or incorrectly used they also have the potential to induce adverse effects. The historic role of medicinal herbs in the treatment and prevention of disease, and their role as catalysts in the development of pharmacology do not, however, assure their safety for uncontrolled use by an uninformed public6.
There has been minimal research to address possible adverse reproductive, immunologic, or neurological effects or even systemic toxicity and/or carcinogenicity that might be associated with high doses or prolonged use of these products7. This concern was frequently expressed at the International Workshop to Evaluate Research Needs on the Use and Safety of Medicinal herbs could not be assumed safe because they are “natural”8.
In Benin City, Nigeria, many plants are used in herbal medicine to cure diseases and heal injuries. Such medicinal plants include
The liver is the largest glandular organ of the body, weighing between 1.4-1.6kg. It lies below the diaphragm in the thoracic region of the abdomen. It plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, plasma protein synthesis, production of bile; an alkaline compound which aids in digestion, and detoxification of most substances19. Since the liver is involved in the performance of these varied functions it may be susceptible to injury particularly in situation of toxicity. It would therefore be worthwhile to examine some probable teratogenic effects of
Materials And Methods
The 0.5g/kg and 1g/kg extract of
The micrograph of the control sections of the liver tissue of the neonates in the control group showed normal histological features with the hepatic lobules showing irregular hexagonal boundary defined by portal tract and sparse collagenous tissues. The hepatic portal veins, bile ductules and hepatic artery within the portal tract were all visible. (Figure1).
The treatment sections of the liver showed some histological changes that were at variance with those obtained in the control. There were evidence of dilatations of the central veins, which contained lysed red blood cells and cyto-architectural distortions of the hepatocytes and centrilobular hemorrhagic necrosis. There were atrophic and degenerative changes with the group that received 1g/kg of Aspilia africana more severe (Figure 2 & 3).
The results (H & E) reactions showed that administration of
It may be inferred from the present results that higher dose of
Degenerative changes have been reported to result in cell death, which is of two types, namely apoptotic and necrotic cell death. These two types differ morphologically and biochemically21. Pathological or accidental cell death is regarded as necrotic and could result from extrinsic insults to the cell such as osmotic, thermal, toxic and traumatic effects22. In this experiment
Conclusion And Recommendation
In conclusion, our study revealed that