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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume VI, Issue X, October 2022|ISSN 2454-6186

Hepatic Assessment of Ethanol and Aqueous Extracts of Gnetum Africanum Root on Wistar Alibino Rats

Akporhono Onyedikachi Joannah
Biochemistry Department, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The effect of ethanol and aqueous extracts of Gnetum africanum root on hepatic biomarkers of wistar albino rats was determined. Samples of Gnetum africanum root obtained from Obokwe Ngor Okpala in Imo State were milled, homogenized and extracted with ethanol and aqueous solvents respectively. The lethal dose (LD50) of the crude samples were determined and found not to be toxic after acute and sub-chronic determination. 35 rats divided into seven groups of five rats each were used. The first (control) group received 1ml normal saline daily, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th groups received 250mg/kg, 500mg/kg and 1000mg/kg body weight of aqueous extract, while groups 5, 6 and 7 received 250mg/kg, 500mg/kg and 1000mg/kg body weight ethanol extract for 14 days duration of the research. The animals were sacrificed after 14 days, blood and liver organs were collected. The result revealed a significant increase in alanine transferase (ALT), aspartate transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and bilirubin concentration with ethanol extract and little or no significant change with aqueous extract of the Gnetum africanum root. Histopathology examination of the liver sections of the rats treated with ethanol extract revealed some abnormal morphology characteristics such as hypercellularity and slight haemorrhagic necrosis in all the treated groups. In conclusion, the aqueous extracts of Gnetum africanum root at 250mg/kg and 500mg/kg body weight may possibly be safe for consumption without any significant toxic effect on the liver of the rats. It is recommended that further studies be done on additional biomarkers such as genetics, proteomics, metabolomics and MicroRNAs of hepatotoxicity in the serum; this can be measured in conjunction with ALT, with respect to specificity of liver injury

Keywords: Gnetum africanum root, liver markers, histopathology and toxicity.


Gnetum africanum is considered to be a wild vegetable, a perennial that grows approximately 10 metres long, with thick papery-like leaves growing in groups of three. The leaves may grow approximately 8 cm long and at maturity, the vine produces small flowers. The seeds of the vine resemble a fleshy fruit (drupe), sized 10-15 mm x 4-8 mm, and are red-orange in colour when fully ripe (Chindong, 2011).
Gnetum africanum leaves are used as vegetable for soup and stew, commonly called Eru soup or afang soup. The leaves may also be used as a remedy for nausea, sore throat, or as a dressing for warts. The stem of the plant may be eaten for medicinal purposes, including the reduction of pain during childbirth (Styslinger, 2000). The seeds of the vine may also be eaten cooked. The leaves of Gnetum africanum is a good source of protein and is rich in essential and non-essential