EFFECT OF ALSTONIA BOONEI STEM BARK EXTRACT ON LIVER FUNCTION IN CCl4-INDUCED LIVER DAMAGE IN MALE RABBITS
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect(s) of cold water stem bark extract of A. boonei on CCl4-induced liver damage in male rabbits; as well as to ascertain the immunological status of the animals. Twenty (20) animals were divided into 4 groups. Group 1 served as control and was given 1mL/kg body weight of normal saline for 7 days. Group 2 received a single dose of 1mL/kg of CCl4 , while group 3 received 0.5g/kg body weight of extract for 7 days before CCl4 administration. Group 4 received 0.5g/kg body weight of extract for 7 days. Aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, total protein and albumin were determined using standard colorimetric methods. The animals in group 3 did not significantly lose weight (p>0.05), while there was weight loss in groups 2 and 4 (p<0.05). There was significant reduction (p>0.05) in the concentration of plasma and tissue homogenate of conjugated bilirubin, total bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase activity. Furthermore, there was significant increase (p<0.05) in plasma and tissue homogenate of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, total protein and albumin. All the haematological parameters increased (p>0.05) except WBC that decrease in group 3 (p>0.05). In group 4, there were decreases in RBC, Hb and HCT (p<0.05), and WBC and PLT (p>0.05).The plant extract aggravated toxicity effects in liver function with suppressed immunity. These results portend possible dangers for individuals who may be placed on long term therapy of this extract.
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body.It weighs about 1.5 kg in an adult human and 0.9kg inrabbits. It is also the most active and most complex organ. Suffice it to say, that, the liver plays a major role in metabolism by independently handling virtually all biochemical transformations. Consequently, the replenishing power of the liver is not in doubt because it carries out inter alia metabolic, secretory, excretory, storage, and detoxification functions (Edet et al., 2011). Needless to say that, the liver is a sine qua non for life.