Hepatoprotective properties of the leaf extract of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) on carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats
The effects of the leaf extract of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced liver damage in rats were investigated. Five groups of six male rats were used for this study. Groups A and B served as the control groups and were respectively administered with distilled water and CCl4 in olive oil while groups C, D and E were administered respectively with 500, 1,000 and 1,500 mg/kg body weight of the ethanolic leaf extract of C. lanatus for 7 days. Animals were subsequently anaesthetized, blood samples were collected for alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, total protein and albumin assays; liver organ was isolated and processed for histopathological studies. The results showed significant increase (p < 0.05) in the serum levels of ALT and AST both in the plasma and liver homogenate in the group treated with CCl4 while in the extract treated group, there was a decrease in the levels of the aminotransferases. Histopathological studies showed severe portal congestion and necrosis of hepatocytes in the group treated with CCl4 while the groups administered with the extract showed a moderate venous congestion with absence of necrosis. These results obtained highlight the ability of the leaf extract of C. lanatus to ameliorate and reverse damage of the liver tissues of albino rats caused by CCl4 toxicant.
Keywords: Citrullus lanatus, Cucurbitaceae, carbon tetrachloride, hepatoprotective property, histopathological studies