Effect of Crotalaria lachnosema Stapf. (Fabaceae) extract on biomarkers of hepatic and renal function and oxidative stress in male Wistar rats

  • N. D. BabaEmail author
  • C. Uchendu
  • C. O. I. Njoku
Original Article


The aim of this study was to determine the subchronic effect of Crotalaria lachnosema Stapf. (Fabaceae) extract (MLECL) on biochemical and oxidative stress biomarkers in male Wistar rats. The rats were assigned into four groups designated as groups 1(control), 2, 3, and 4, of ten rats each, and were exposed to dose levels of 0, 40, 200, and 1000 mg of MLECL extract per kilogram in feed, respectively, for a period of 6 weeks. At the end of the study period, the surviving rats were sacrificed and blood was collected from each rat via jugular venesection and used for biochemical analysis. Postmortem examination was carried out on euthanized rats after which tissue sections of various organs were harvested for histopathological examination. Exposure to the extract was found to significantly (p < 0.0001) increased the values of urea and creatinine in groups 2, 3, and 4 (urea, 4.32 ± 0.15, 3.92 ± 0.32, 4.14 ± 0.09 mmol/l and creatinine, 68.60 ± 1.99, 89.40 ± 5.61, 71.60 ± 3.67 μmol/l, respectively) when compared with group 1 (urea, 2.62 ± 0.10 mmol/l, creatinine, 42.80 ± 1.59 μmol/l, respectively). Similarly, the extract was found to significantly affect the serum levels of liver enzymes only in group 4 (ALT, 52.80 ± 2.11 IU/L; AST, 49.40 ± 2.25 IU/L; ALP, 92.20 ± 8.24 IU/L), (p < 0.05) than the corresponding values in the control group (ALT, 45.00 ± 1.52 IU/L; AST, 38.00 ± 1.52 IU/L; ALP, 61.60 ± 6.43 IU/L). Exposure to the extract had variable effects on the levels of the oxidative stress biomarkers, Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). The SOD levels were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in groups 2 and 3 with mean values of 1.96 ± 0.12 and 1.80 ± 0.07 IU/L, respectively, when compared to the control value of 2.36 ± 0.08 IU/L. The serum CAT value (40.20 ± 1.24 IU/L) was significantly (p < 0.05) lower only in group 3, when compared to the control value (45.80 ± 1.16 IU/L). Microscopic lesions observed in the MLECL-exposed groups were hepatic megalocytosis and severe congestion in the kidneys and lungs. Results from this study showed variable toxic effects induced by MLECL administration to male Wistar rats, especially low dose exposure to rats in groups 2 and 3. This could be attributed to pyrrolizidine alkaloid in MLECL.


Crotalaria lachnosema Microscopic lesions Oxidative stress biomarkers Serum chemicals Wistar rats 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Animal Health, Husbandry and FisheriesBirninkebbiNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of JosJosNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria

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