|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 21-27
Evaluation of the effects of the extract of dried roots of Jatropha curcas in the female Wistar rats
Ayotunde O Ale1, Omolola S Odesanmi2, Olubunmi A Magbagbeola2
1 Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu Campus, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos State, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
|Date of Submission||02-Jun-2022|
|Date of Decision||18-Jun-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||21-Jun-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||02-Sep-2022|
Dr. Ayotunde O Ale
Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu Campus, Ogun State
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Jatropha curcas is a multipurpose plant with medicinal properties along with the capability to produce cheap, commercially lucrative biofuel. Literature search reveals well-known medicinal uses of different parts of J. curcas, especially in traditional medicine; also, some studies have established the medicinal role of different parts of the plant in in-vitro and in-vivo models. Objectives: The objective is to evaluate the effects of oral administration of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of dried roots of J. curcas on the liver function in adult female rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were procured from the Animal House of the University of Ibadan. They were allowed a period of acclimatization (for 15 days) and divided into five groups (n = 4): four groups (groups A to C) were treated with aqueous extracts of dried roots of J. curcas, one group (group D) was treated with ethanolic extract of the same, and Group E did not receive any treatment (control group). After oral administration of the preparation for 15 days, the rats were sacrificed under anesthesia and blood samples were sent for biochemical analysis. Measurement of liver enzymes such as serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, total protein, bilirubin, and urea levels was carried out. Results: SGOT, SGPT, and urea levels were significantly lower in the alcoholic extract-treated group (group D) when compared with other aqueous extract-treated groups; also the total protein level was significantly lower in the rats in group D. ALP and bilirubin levels were significantly lower in some of the aqueous extract-treated groups (groups A and C, respectively). Conclusion: None of the extracts (aqueous and ethanolic) was found to be totally safe in adult female rats with regard to liver function. However, further study is required with larger sample size with prolonged period of administration and measurement of other biochemical and hematological parameters.
Keywords: Biofuel, female rats, Jatropha curcas, liver enzymes
|How to cite this article:|
Ale AO, Odesanmi OS, Magbagbeola OA. Evaluation of the effects of the extract of dried roots of Jatropha curcas in the female Wistar rats. Afr J Endocrinol Metab 2022;12:21-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Ale AO, Odesanmi OS, Magbagbeola OA. Evaluation of the effects of the extract of dried roots of Jatropha curcas in the female Wistar rats. Afr J Endocrinol Metab [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 10];12:21-7. Available from: http://www.ajemjournal.org/text.asp?2022/12/1/21/355330
| Introduction|| |
Phytochemicals obtained from plants are considered as one of the most important sources of drug. Since antiquity, humans have used plant products as drug sources. Even during modern times, the research interest in identification and evaluation of natural products has persisted as many potential drugs have been identified through the study of phytochemicals obtained from plants., Plants are known to synthesize bioactive substances which provide protection to the plants (acts as defense mechanism) against predator species; so it is highly possible that these substances are toxic in nature for the predators (insects) including human species.
Currently, the increase in interest in medicinal plants, regarding efficacy and most importantly safety of the phytochemicals, has promoted research in medicinal plants and plant products.,,
Jatropha curcas (Linn.) belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae, a shrub that grows up to a height of maximum 4.5–8 m., The different parts of the said plants (like roots, leaves, and seeds) have been used quite commonly in traditional medicine, especially in many parts of West Africa and Central and South America. Literature search revealed that this plant has role in the treatment of fever, oral infections, jaundice, guinea worm infestations, etc. Fagbenro-Beyioku et al. in an article published in the year 1998 described the disinfectant and antiparasitic activity (especially antimalarial) of the plant. They found that the sap and the crushed extracts of the leaves of the plants had antibacterial property and significantly inhibited the normal larval growth of mosquito larva. Because of its easy, cheap, and ready availability, the authors identified the huge commercial potential of the plant as a disinfectant and a malaria vector control agent.
Other studies have also described its potential role in the inhibition of HIV-induced cytopathic effects. Matsuse et al. published their research in search of antiviral properties of 39 types of Panamanian plants including J. curcas. Aqueous extract of branches of J. curcas significantly inhibited the HIV-induced cytopathic effects in cell cultures.
Similarly, another study by Igbinosa et al., described the potential antioxidant properties of J. curcas. Balaji et al. also carried out research in order to identify the hepatoprotective action of methanol extracts of J. curcas on rat livers damaged by aflatoxin B1.
Besides all the published reports of beneficial effects of J. curcas, it can cause toxicity. Goonasekera et al. published reports of abortifacient properties of the plant (fruit) in rats. Chomchai et al. presented a brief review regarding toxicity of J. curcas, following accidental ingestion among children in Thailand. Another form of reported toxicity of J. curcas includes promotion of tumor growth following topical application on mouse skins of a new variety of phorbol esters (DHPB, diester of 12-deoxy-16-hydroxyphorbol) isolated from the seeds of J. curcas.
Besides all these potential medicinal uses of the different parts of the plant J. curcas, the seeds of the same plant contain around 27–40% oil, which can be commercially processed into high yield biodiesel (biofuel) fuel, which is used as fuel in standard diesel engines.,,,
With the recent concern regarding safety and efficacy of medicinal plants along with adequate quality control, research of adverse drug reactions into medical plants has been increased. Also, the fact that the medicinal plants usually contain more than one pharmacologically active substances, which are capable of acting individually, in an additive or synergistic manner or adversely for the recipient has underlined the importance of proper research for each of these pharmacologically active substances before approving use of the plant products in humans. Researches in the dose, duration, and type of vehicle used for the pharmacologically active plant substances are required.
A huge proportion of population, especially in the developing countries (around 80%), is dependent on traditional (plant-based) drugs for primary healthcare needs. Hence, gathering adequate information regarding safety and efficacy of each of the pharmacologically active substances of each of the medicinal plants along with their routes, dose, duration of administration together with type of extract (alcoholic or aqueous) is of utmost importance.,, In this study, we have evaluated the effects of oral administration of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of J. curcas on rat liver.
| Materials and methods|| |
Ethical approval was obtained from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.
Dry roots of J. curcas were collected with the cooperation of a Nigerian traditional herbalist and identified at the herbarium of the Department of Botany and Microbiology of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. The roots were further dried in a hot air oven and processed at 60°C for 24 h and then grounded to powder with a grinding machine at the Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts were prepared by dissolving 40 g of the powder in 250 mL of distilled water or 250 mL of 90% ethanol in Soxhlet apparatus for 72 h. The extract was dried using a rotary evaporator at 45°C and stored in a refrigerator between 4°C and 8°C until use.
The female rats were bought from the Animal House of the University of Ibadan. They were kept separately and fed and cleaned regularly; they were allowed adequate ventilation, illumination, and were allowed 15 days’ acclimatization period before starting the experiment. The rats were grouped into four groups (n = 4) by weight (groups A–D) in such a way that the average weight of the rats in each of the groups was about the same. The remaining rats in the control group (E) were placed in a different cage. They were fed early mornings between 8 and 9 a.m.; they were weighed on the first day and subsequently at an interval of 3 days till the end of experiment. Different concentrations of 1 mL aqueous solution (25, 50, and 75 mg/kg per bodyweight) of the extract were fed to groups A, B, and C, respectively, and ethanolic solution of the extract (50 mg/kg body weight) was fed to the rats of group D, and group E served as control (no extract was administered). The extracts were administered orally via stomach tubes. On the 15th day, all animals were fasted for 18 h and sacrificed after anesthesia with intraperitoneal injection of 25% urethane chloralose. The fasting samples were collected in plain glass bottles for biochemical analysis. The samples were centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 20 min. The supernatant was then collected, and some of the serums were stored at 4°C for further analysis.
Determination of liver function tests
Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) levels were evaluated using the Reitman and Frankel method and total alkaline phosphatase (ALP) by the colorimetric method. Total and direct bilirubin levels were assessed according to the Walters–Gerarde method. Albumin was measured by the Bromocresol Green method. Total protein was determined using the biuret method, and urea was determined by the Urease-Berthelot method.
All the data were presented as mean ± SD. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS version 21. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the means of more than two groups, and Student’s t-test was used to compare between the two groups. Where variances were found not to be homogeneous, non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis test was used. The difference in mean was considered to be significant if the P-value was less than 0.05.
| Results|| |
All the liver enzymes analyzed were significantly higher (SGOT, P = 0.008; SGPT, P = 0.001; ALP, P = 0.009) in the groups in which different doses of J. curcas extract were administered when compared with the control group. It was observed that among the different groups administered with aqueous extract of J. curcas (A–C), group B had the highest levels of the liver enzymes when compared with other groups [Table 1]. There was no significant difference between the levels of SGPT between groups A and B (P = 0.33).
|Table 1: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on serum liver enzymes of mature female rats|
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The levels of liver enzymes in groups A–C were compared with that in group D. The levels of SGOT and SGPT were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in groups A–C when compared with group D. The levels of ALP were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in groups B and C, but significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in group A when compared with group D [Table 2].
|Table 2: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on serum liver enzymes of mature female rats: comparison between aqueous extract and ethanolic extract|
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Total and direct bilirubin
Serum total and direct bilirubin levels were found to be significantly higher (total bilirubin, P = 0.008; direct bilirubin, P = 0.008) in the groups in which different doses of J. curcas extract were administered when compared with the control group. This could be due to derangement in function and structure of liver, resulting in jaundice.
It was observed that among the different groups administered with aqueous extract of J. curcas (A–C), group A had the highest levels of both total and direct bilirubin levels when compared with other groups [Table 3].
|Table 3: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on total bilirubin and direct bilirubin levels of mature female rats|
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The levels of total and direct bilirubin in groups A–C were compared with that of group D. It was observed that the levels of total and direct bilirubin were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in groups A and B and significantly (P < 0.0001) lower in group C when compared with group D [Table 4].
|Table 4: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on total bilirubin and direct bilirubin levels of mature female rats: comparison between aqueous extract and ethanolic extract|
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Total protein and albumin
The total protein concentration and albumin concentration were found to be significantly higher (total protein, P = 0.008; albumin, P = 0.007) in the groups in which different doses of J. curcas extract were administered when compared with the control group.
It was observed that among the different groups administered with aqueous extract of J. curcas (A–C), group A had the highest levels of total protein when compared with other groups and group C had the highest levels of albumin when compared with other groups [Table 5].
|Table 5: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on protein profile of mature female rats|
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The levels of total protein and albumin concentration in groups A–C were compared with those of group D. It was observed that the levels of total protein were significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in groups A–C when compared with group D. However, the levels of albumin were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in groups A–C when compared with group D [Table 6].
|Table 6: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on protein profile of mature female rats: comparison between aqueous extract and ethanolic extract|
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The urea concentration was found to be significantly higher (P = 0.009) in the groups in which different doses of J. curcas extract were administered, compared with the control group.
It was observed that among the different groups administered with aqueous extract of J. curcas (groups A–C), group C had the highest levels of total protein when compared with other groups [Table 7].
|Table 7: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on urea concentration of mature female rats|
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Since urea is a nitrogenous waste product, its elevated levels indicate that the extract might increase the rate of protein catabolism in the female rats.
The levels of urea concentration in groups A–C were compared with those of group D. It was observed that the levels of urea concentration were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in groups A–C when compared with group D [Table 8].
|Table 8: Effects of oral administration of varied doses of J. curcas extract on urea concentration of mature female rats: comparison between aqueous extract and ethanolic extract|
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| Discussion|| |
In this study, we have explored the effects of different concentrations of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of dried roots of J. curcas on liver function tests (LFTs) and urea concentrations in adult female rats.
Compared with the control group (group E), other groups (groups A–C) fed with different aqueous concentrations of J. curcas revealed significant elevation of liver enzymes such as SGOT, SGPT, and ALP (P = 0.008, 0.001, 0.009, respectively) [Table 1]. Group B rats (fed with aqueous extract of 50 mg/kg of J. curcas) had the maximum elevation in liver enzymes [Table 1] compared with other groups (groups A and C).
Again, compared with group D rats (fed with ethanolic extract of 50 mg/kg of J. curcas), the other groups (A–C) had significantly higher elevation of liver enzymes SGOT and SGPT (P < 0.0001) [Table 2]; however, in the case of ALP, the rise is significantly lower in group A rats when compared with the other groups (B, C, and D).
Thus from the aforementioned findings, it can be said that although ethanolic extracts of J. curcas did not increase SGOT and SGPT levels significantly when compared with the aqueous extract of the same in rats, in the case of ALP, the aqueous extract (especially at the dose of 25 mg/kg of body weight) was found to be safer as there was a significant lesser increase in ALP levels.
In the case of bilirubin levels (total and direct), the rise was significantly lower in group C rats (fed with aqueous extract of J. curcas at a dose of 75 mg/kg of body weight), compared with other groups of rats treated with different doses of aqueous extracts of J. curcas [Table 3]. The rise of bilirubin (both direct and total) was maximum in the group A rats (fed with 50 mg/kg of body weight). Again, compared to group D rats (fed with ethanolic extract of J. curcas at a dose of 50 mg/kg of body weight), group C rats had significantly minimum rise in bilirubin levels (both direct and total) [Table 4]. However, compared with all the groups including group D rats, group A rats showed a maximum significant rise in bilirubin levels (both direct and total) [Table 4].
Again, comparing the protein levels (total protein and albumin concentrations), group D rats treated with alcoholic extract of J. curcas had a maximum significant rise in total protein concentration (P < 0.0001), but these groups of rats paradoxically had a significant minimum rise in albumin concentration compared with other groups of rats (P < 0.0001) [Table 5] and [Table 6].
Urea concentration was found to be significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in the group D rats treated with alcoholic extract of J. curcas (50 mg/kg body weight) when compared with other groups of rats (groups A–C) [Table 8]; of all the aqueous extracts of J. curcas-treated rats, group A had a significantly minimum rise and group C rats had a significantly maximum rise in urea concentration [Table 7].
Our study showed that neither aqueous extract nor ethanolic extract of dried roots of J. curcas was completely safe in adult female rats, as alterations of some of the LFT parameters (SGOT, SGPT, and albumin concentration) and urea concentrations were significantly lower in rats treated with ethanolic extracts, whereas others such as ALP, bilirubin (total and direct), and total protein levels were significantly lower in rats treated with aqueous extracts of J. curcas.
Rise in liver enzymes indicates impairment of liver functions. Toxicity studies of J. curcas extracts performed on different animals such as goats, sheep, and chickens revealed different results.,,,,
Ahmed and Adam published a study carried out on desert sheep and Nubian goats regarding toxicity of J. curcas following administration of seeds of the same plants at doses of 0.05, 0.5, and 1 g/kg/day. They found that there was a significant rise in hepatic enzyme aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT), ammonia, potassium, and sodium and a fall in total protein and calcium concentrations in the sheep and goats. Postmortem findings revealed hemorrhagic changes in rumen and other major organs like lungs, liver, kidneys, and heart. The animals had symptoms of dehydration and loss of appetite.
Similar to their findings in our study, both alcoholic and aqueous extracts of dried roots of J. curcas have led to impaired liver function characterized by raised liver enzymes and bilirubin levels and to impaired renal function characterized by raised urea levels. Again, another study conducted by Adam and Magzoub on desert sheep had similar findings, following oral administration of J. curcas seeds. Another study carried out by el Badwi and Adam on Brown Hisex Chicks revealed that following administration of J. curcas seed for 4 weeks led to toxicity, as measured by serum liver enzymes, enzymes of lipid metabolism, and hematological parameters. Their findings were similar to ours in terms of liver enzyme levels.
However, contrast to our findings, Igbinosa et al. did not find any clinical and biochemical signs of toxicity in Wistar rats, following oral administration of methanolic extracts of J. curcas for 21 days. They concluded from the results of the said study that hepatic, renal, and hematological functions were maintained within normal limits, following administration of methanolic extracts of J. curcas.
J. curcas is a multipurpose plants with medicinal as well as biofuel properties. There are a number of established uses of the different parts of the J. curcas plant, including bark, stems, seeds, latex, sap, roots, flowers, oils, and so on.
Abdelgadir and Staden published a review article regarding ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, and toxicity of J. curcas. They documented the toxicological effects of the different parts of the plant from different published reports on different species of animals. All the parts of the plants are found to be toxic, and the degree of toxicity depends on the type of extracts, nature of substance, dose, routes of administration, and sensitivity of animals.
| Conclusion|| |
In our study, none of the preparations of J. curcas (the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of dried roots) was found to be absolutely safe for rats; alcoholic extracts of the plants significantly raised some of the liver enzymes, whereas bilirubin and urea levels were raised significantly by the different concentrations of the aqueous preparations of the dried roots of the plants.
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Conflicts of interest
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8]