The Effect of Methanolic Extract of Vitellaria Paradoxum Fruit (Shea Nuts) on the Kidneys of Adult Wistar Rats
The effects of methanolic extract of pulverized Vitelleria paradoxum on the kidney were investigated. The plant is known for its exotic medicinal use; as a source of oil and herbal formulations for treating skin diseases and ailments such as sprains and diarrhoea in West Africa. Twenty-Eight (28) adult Wistar rats weighing between 195g and 215g were used for the study. The animals were randomly divided into four (4) groups, namely: A, B, C, and D. They were respectively administered daily 2.0mls distilled water; 50mg./Kg. body weight; 100mg/kg body weight and 200mg/kg body weight of the extract, with the aid of an oral cannula, throughout the four weeks duration of the experiment. All animals received humane care in accordance with the Guidelines of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Ilorin. All the Wistar rats were given water ad libitum. They were all also fed with growers' marsh feeds. At the end of the administration, all the animals were sacrificed by cervical dislocation. Blood samples were taken from the right ventricle into heparinized tubes for haematological assessment as well as plain containers for serum urea analyses. The kidneys were harvested and fixed by immersion in 10% formosaline. Routine tissue processing procedures and staining with Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stains were done for light microscopy. Histopathological studies following oral administration of the extract on the kidney revealed acute tubular necrosis, lobulation and wide urinary space due to shrunken glomeruli with increasing dosages above 50mg/Kg body weight. Haematological profile, however, showed no significant changes in blood cell parameters except for the platelets which were statistically significantly reduced compared to those of the control group (p < 0.05). Urea levels were also increased in the plasma suggestive of compromise in the excretory capability of the kidney tubules. Long-term intake of Vitellaria paradoxumkernels at high dose is deleterious to the kidney in adult wistarrats and may pose a treat of renal failure in the circumstance of its prolonged endogenous consumption as herbal drug.
Key Words: Methanolic extract; Vitellaria paradoxum fruit (Shea nuts); kidney; Adult Wistar rats