Histological and haematotoxic effects of Azadirachta indica (Neem) leaf extract in albino rats
The crude methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica leaves was administered intraperitoneally once daily for ten days at varied doses of (100, 200 and 500mg/kg) in 24 albino rats. The acute histopathological changes induced in the spleen, liver, kidney, heart and lungs of the albino rats were studied. Changes in serum biochemical and haematological parameters were also studied . The histopathological results showed congestion and haemosiderosis at a dose level of 200mg/kg, while sections of the lungs showed evidence of interstitial pneumonia and interlobular oedema, the hepatocytes showed necrosis, margination of nuclear chromatin and hyperplastic bile duct epithelial cells. The control group (0mg/kg) and 100mg/kg treatment groups had no lesion. It was then concluded that the administration of the extracts to the rats at doses of 200mg/kg i.p and above, induces histological changes in the spleen, liver and lung which are dose dependent. On the haematotoxic effects, administration of the extract at a dose level of 100mg/kg did not produce any toxic symptoms but at 200 and 500mg/kg, the animals showed high incidence of mortality, even though no significant difference in weight gain, food consumption and fluid intake was observed. There was a fall in packed cell volume (PCV) and a significant elevation of total leucocyte (WBC) count serum trasaminases (ALT and AST) showed enhanced activity and there was an elevation in the levels of urea and bilirubin. Hence, the extracts suggest haematotoxicity in rats at the doses of 200 and 500mg/kg bwt.
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