The study evaluates the sub-acute toxicity and antioxidant potential of ethanolic leaf extract of Cymbopogon citratus against CCl4-induced toxicity in Sprague Dawley rats. The ethanolic leaf extract of C. citratus was prepared by solvent maceration method. The phytochemicals present in the extract were determined using standard methods. The potential sub-acute toxicities were evaluated using OECD procedure. The sub-acute toxicity of the extract at the doses of 125, 250 and 500 mg/kg, b.wt. was administered orally for 28 days. Another sets of rats were made hepatotoxic by orally administered with CCl4 (20% CCl4 in olive oil) twice per week for a period of five weeks. They were treated with C. citratus extract (300 and 600 mg/kg body weight) once a day for 35 days. Biochemical parameters were used to assess the hepatoprotective effects of the extract on liver tissues. Phytochemical screening of C citratus shows the presence of anthraquinones, alkaloids, flavonoids, etc. The administration of C. citratus is not hematotoxic and significantly reduced (P<0.05) elevated liver biomarker enzymes, urea, creatinine and the level of malondialdehyde. Treatment with the extract was found to significantly increase (P<0.05) TP level, the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase. Liver histopathology shows that the extract reduced the incidence of liver lesions induced by CCl4. The administration of C. citratus did not produce any toxic effects in the sub-acute study. The plant exhibits potent protective effects in CCl4-induced liver damage due to decrease in liver biomarker enzymes activities, increase of antioxidant-defense system and inhibition of lipid peroxidation.
Key words: Sub-acute toxicity, protective effects, Cymbopogon citratus, carbon tetrachloride, hematological, oxidative stress parameters.
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