Author(s): Anofi Omotayo Tom Ashafa, Latifat Olubukola Orekoya, Musa Toyin Yakubu
Objective To investigate the toxic implications of ethanolic stem bark extract of Azadirachta indica (A. indica) at 50, 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight in Wistar rats. Methods Fifty male rats of Wistar strains were randomly grouped into five (A-E) of ten animals each. Animals in Group A (control) were orally administered 1 mL of distilled water on daily basis for 21 days while those in Groups B-E received same volume of the extract corresponding to 50, 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight. Results The extract did not significantly (P>0.05) alter the levels of albumin, total protein, red blood cells and factors relating to it whereas the white blood cell, platelets, serum triacylglycerol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly (P<0.05). In contrast, the final body weights, absolute weights of the liver, kidney, lungs and heart as well as their organ-body weight ratios, serum globulins, total and conjugated bilirubin, serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and computed atherogenic index increased significantly. The spleen-body weight ratio, alkaline phosphatase, alanine and aspartate transaminases, sodium, potassium, calcium, feed and water intake were altered at specific doses. Conclusions Overall, the alterations in the biochemical parameters of toxicity have consequential effects on the normal functioning of the organs of the animals. Therefore, the ethanolic extract of A. indica stem bark at the doses of 50, 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight may not be completely safe as an oral remedy and should be taken with caution if absolutely necessary.