EVALUATION OF THE ACUTE AND SUBLETHAL EFFECTS OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACTS OF PIPER GLIINEENSE IN MICET.A. YAKEEN, T.G. OKORIE AND A.A. BAKARE
The West African Black Pepper, Piper guineense is commonly used as a spice to flavour food and as traditional medicine for the cure of some ailments in Nigeria. Its acute and sublethal effects through LD, determination, induction of abnormal sperm morphology and effects on haematological indices, weights and histopathology of liver, kidney and lungs using mice were evaluated. For LD50 determination, the test animals were exposed intraperitoneally (IP) to 0.5 ml of the ethanolic extracts at concentrations of 5.0% (parts per Thousand), 6.0%, 7.0%, 8.0% and 9.0% for five consecutive days. An LD50 of 6.45% was obtained. The sublethal effects were analysed at doses of 1.0%, 2.0%, 3.0%, 4.0% and 5.0% of the test chemical. Blood samples taken per week for 3 weeks showed that extracts of P. guineense did not induce any significant effect on the haematological parameters except the white blood cell whose values were significantly different (P<0.05, ANOVA) from the controls. Absolute and relative weight of the kidney, liver and lungs showed no significant difference from the control. Histopathological analysis of these organs showed no lesion in the liver, but congestion of blood vessels in the kidney and lungs; and haemorrhage of the renal tissue, only in the kidney. In the mouse sperm morphology tests, data obtained 35 days after exposure showed that the extracts increased the ftequencies of abnormal sperm above the control value. This increase was dose dependent and significant (P<0.05) at the higher 2 concentrations, indicating that the extract might be mutagenic. These findings provides more information on the intrinsic toxic and potential mutagenic activity of extracts of P. guineense.
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