Author(s): Dapar L P Maxwell, Aguiyi C John, Wannang N Noel, Gyang S Steven, Tanko M Naanlep
Securidaca longepedunculata is a savannah shrub commonly used by traditional medicine practitioners in Nigeria; the plant is reputed to have over one hundred medicinal indications. In this investigation, the histopathologic effects of S. longepedunculata on the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs of rats were examined. Albino rats (Sprague Dawley strain) weighing 200 – 250 g were given 2 mg/kg (I.P) of aqueous extract daily for fourteen days and then sacrificed. Tissues were harvested and processed for photomicrographic examinations. Extracts of the plant gave an LD50 value of 37 mg/kg (I.P) and histological alterations monitored. In the kidneys, there was acute tubular necrosis with diffused interstitial and glumerular haemorrhage characteristic of irreversible cellular injury of the epithelium and parenchyma. Similar changes were observed in the liver showing severe ballooning degeneration of the hepatocytes, necrosis and formation of mallory bodies. In the lungs diffused alveolar and capillary damage as well as early formation of hyaline membranes were evident. The histological changes are similar to those produced by chronic ethanol and p-acetaminophene ingestion, suggesting the presence of toxic constituents. From these observations, it can be inferred that the use of S. longepedunculata may be associated with tissue structural damage of some vital organs.