Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1189–1193 | Cite as

Toxic effects of Nerium oleander aqueous leaf extract on haematological parameters and histopathological changes of the lungs and heart in rabbits

  • Sahar Taheri
  • Amirali SolatiEmail author
  • Pezhman Moradi
  • Abbas Tavassoly
  • Jafar Yadi
Original Article


Oleander is an evergreen plant with leathery leaves and fragrant funnel-shaped flowers that comes in various colours from pink to red, white, peach and yellow and is a well-known poisonous plant containing numerous toxic complexes. Oleandrin and neriine are the most significant compounds of the toxin, which are cardiac glycosides. The aim of the present study was to observe the effects of aqueous oleander leaf extract on haematological parameters and histopathological changes in the heart and lungs of New Zealand White rabbits. For this purpose, animals in the treatment group were treated with sub-lethal dose of aqueous oleander leaf extract over 28 days. At the end of the dosing period, blood samples were collected from all animals, and the effects of oleander exposure on blood parameters were studied. Following euthanization of all rabbits, tissue samples from heart and lungs were collected and processed. Analysis of the haematological data revealed significant increases (p < 0.05) in the red and white blood cell counts and in haemoglobin concentration. However, there was a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in platelet count in treated rabbits compared to the control group. Microscopical examination showed interstitial pneumonia in the lungs and degeneration and necrosis of muscles fibres in the heart. In conclusion, our results showed that oleander extract had toxico-pathologic effects on lung and heart tissues and on haematological indices.


Nerium oleander Toxicity Haematology Histopathology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahar Taheri
    • 1
  • Amirali Solati
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pezhman Moradi
    • 1
  • Abbas Tavassoly
    • 3
  • Jafar Yadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureIslamic Azad UniversitySavehIran
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary MedicineIslamic Azad UniversitySavehIran
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary PathologyTehran UniversityTehranIran

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