Ameliorative effects of methanolic extract of Ficus exasperata (Vahl.) on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatopathy in albino rats


Akindele Oluwatosin Adeyi, Blessing D. Akwarandu, Esther Olubisi Adeyi

Aim/Background: This study investigated the ameliorative potentials of methanol leaf extract of Ficus exasperata against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatopathy in rats. Methods: A total of 30 adult male Wistar strain albino rats divided into five treatments and one control groups were used for the study. Hepatopathy was induced in four of the experimental groups (Group B-E) by a single intraperitoneal injection of 0.4 ml of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ) dissolved in paraffin wax. Groups B-D were thereafter treated with 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg of the extract daily for 7 days while Group E was the positive control. Results: Administration of CCl4 induced hepatopathy in all exposed rats as indicated by significantly higher (P < 0.05) serum concentrations of liver enzymes (alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyltransferase) compared to the pre-treatment levels and the control rats. Untreated hepatopathy caused progressive reduction in food consumption with concomitant reduction in body weight, acute anemia, hypohemoglobinemia, thrombocytopenia, increased oxidative stress biomarkers and diffuse vacuolation of the hepatocytes. Treatment with the extract however attenuated the liver damage by significant reduction in serum sliver enzymes concentrations to levels comparable to the control rats. Similarly, treated rats showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) in weight gain, improved hematological parameters, reduction in oxidative stress biomarkers and amelioration of various hepatic degenerations. The presence of vitamins B and C, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and various minerals with antioxidizing potentials in the methanolic extract of F. exasperata might have accounted for the observed ameliorative properties through free radical scavenging. Conclusion: We, however, suggest further studies to isolate and characterize the components in the plants responsible for these properties.