The therapeutic effect of an alkaloid-rich fraction of the chloroform-methanol extract of Abrus precatorius seeds on paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats was investigated in this study. The extract was fractionated in a 17.5 × 2.5 cm Sephadex G15 swollen, packed and eluted with water. The fractions were spotted on F2.54 pre-coated thin layer chromatography (TLC) plates and sprayed with Drangendorff’s reagent. The fractions that turned purple indicating the presence of alkaloids were pulled together and used in the study. Hepatotoxicity was induced using per oral 2500 mg/kg b.w. of paracetamol. Treatment with the fraction caused a dose-dependent significant decrease (p ˂ 0.05) in the activity of serum liver marker enzymes [alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), bilirubin levels, serum urea, creatinine and Malondialdehyde (MDA)] concentrations when compared with the positive control, while there was a significant increase (p ˂ 0.05) in the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of the treated rats when compared with the positive control. The haematological parameters of the rats treated with fraction I showed significant increases (p˂0.05) in the packed cell volume (PCV) levels, haemoglobin (Hb) concentration and red blood cell (RBC) count compared to the positive control. From these findings, the alkaloid-rich fraction had a therapeutic effect on the paracetamol-intoxicated rats but the standard drug used was more potent.
Key words: Abrus precatorius, Sephadex, Drangendoff’s reagent, paracetamol.
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