Calotropis procera is of the family Asclepiadaceae. The whole plant is toxic. The influence of age on sub-chronic toxicity of aqueous leaves extract was investigated in New Zealand White X local breed rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) of both sexes. 200 mg/kg body weight of the extract was daily administered orally by gavages during 42 days. Vital signs, body weight change, mortality, serum biochemistry, hematology parameters, necropsy and histopathology were examined. All the rabbits gained weight during the administration period, with an appreciable gain for smaller animals. Significant decrease (p<0.05) of ALT and RBC were noticed in the youngest rabbits. A significant increase (p<0.05) of serum creatinine level and lymphocytes were also noticed within the group of the juvenile rabbits. Necropsy revealed lesions in kidney and liver, these lesions were further confirmed by histopathology observations that revealed more pronounced pathology with the youngest animals. Although animals in different test groups show some toxic effects; small animals of eight weeks exhibit more effects with more severe lesions.
Key words: Age, Asclepiadaceae, histopathology, toxicity.
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