Full Length Research Paper
The sub-acute toxicity of the petroleum ether extract of Leonurus japonicus (PELJ) in rats was investigated, and as a comparison, that of the boiled decoction of L. japonicus (DLJ) was also investigated. In rats which received a once-daily administration of PELJ and DLJ at the dose of 60 g/kg by intragastric gavage for 15 days, there was a significant decrease in the body weight gain and an increase in the relative weight of testis and levels of serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN) as well as in the amount of creatinine, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), urinary protein concentration and urinary NAG. Also, histopathological changes of liver, kidney and testis were observed. The altered levels of body weight, relative organ weight and the biochemical parameters except for urinary protein concentration tended to be restored, and the histopathological changes of liver, kidney and testis were ameliorated in rats that had been withdrawn from the treatment for another 15 days recovery period. PELJ and DLJ exhibited similar toxic effects and the toxic effects of DLJ were lower than those of PELJ. The results demonstrated that PELJ and DLJ at the given dose produced apparent toxicity in rats and that permitting rats to recover for 15 days resulted in partial recovery. Besides, the compositions of PELJ were analyzed by GC–MS. The major components identified in PELJ were 17b-hydroxy-1a, 17-dimethyl-5a-androstan-3-one (21.47%), stigmast-5-en-3-ol (11.86%), E-phytol (9.94%), and caryophyllene oxide (8.69%).
Key words: Leonurus japonicus, petroleum ether extract, GC-MS, toxicity, liver, kidney, testis.
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