The effects of acute, subacute and chronic administration of alkaloids atropine and scopolamine, the main constituents of the active principle of Datura stramonium, with toxic properties, were studied in male Albino-Wistar rats. After acute i.p administration of dose 100 mg/kg (1/4 DL50) of total alkaloids to the seeds of D. stramonium, there were no remarkable changes in general appearance and no deaths occurred in any experimental group. 24 h after total alkaloids of seeds, a significant reduction in tissues (liver, spleen and brain) was observed. The RBC, HCT, HGB and WBC were significantly higher in the treated groups than the control group. There were no statistical differences in GOT, GPT and ALP (alkaline phosphatase) observed between groups. Histological examination of liver showed no histopathological changes. Subacute study for four weeks showed no resulting mortality or signs of toxicity. The relative weight of kidneys showed a significant decrease, however, these doses of synthetic alkaloids (5.2 mg/kg of atropine and 2.6 mg/kg of scopolamine) produced significant increase of lungs in comparison with the control group. RBC, HBG, HCT and PLT values of control group were significantly higher than those of the treated group. The enzyme activities of GOT, GPT and ALP were significantly increased. The microscopic examination of liver showed normal conservative lobular architecture and necrotic areas. In chronic study, the synthetic alkaloids administered i.p at daily doses 4.2 mg/kg of atropine and 1.6 mg/kg of scopolamine, did not produce death, However the diarrhoea and hypoactivity were observed. The relative weight of liver was significantly less than that of the control group. The haematological analysis revealed a significant decrease in RBC, HCT, HBG and WBC and we observed manifold centrolobular necrotic areas, and blood congestion and dilated central veins in treated groups.
Key words: Toxicity, Datura stramonium, alkaloids, atropine, scopolamine, rat.
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