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Toxicological study of crude extract of Tinospora crispa  Mier ex Hook F.& Thoms

Pranee Chavalittumrong*
Aimmanus Attawish*
Anchalee Chuthaputti*
Pranee Chuntapet**

Affiliations ::
      *Medicinal Plant Research Institute
      **Division of Clinical Pathology, Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand

Source:
      Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 1997; 21(4): 199-210

Language:
      English

Abstract:
      Acute toxicity study of ethanolic extract of Tinospora crispa   stem in mice showed that the extract at the highest oral dose of 4.0 g/kg of body weight (g/kg BW), which was equivalent to powdered crude drug 28, 95 g/kg BW, did not produce any signs of toxicity. Six-month chronic toxicity study of the extract was performed in five groups of 16 Wistar rats of each sex. Water control group received 10 ml of water/kg BW/day while tragacanth control group received 10 ml of 0.5% tragacanth suspension/kg BW/day. The three treatment groups were given the extract at the doses of 0.02, 0.16 and 1.28 g/kg BW/day which were equivalent to dired stems 0.145, 1.16 and 9.26 g/kg BW/day, respectively. It was found that the body weight of female rats receiving 1.28 g extract/kg BW was significantly lower than that of the tragacanth control group which might be due to lower food intake in this group of animals. Hamatological studies showed no significant dose-dependent difference between tragacanth control groups and all extract-treated groups in both sexes. Blood chemistry studies indicated that both male and female rats receiving 1.28 g/kg BW of the extract had significantly higher cholesterol levels but significantly lower glucose levels than those of water control and tragacanth control groups. Animals of both sexes receiving the highest dose of the extract had significantly higher alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and relative liver weights than those of the water control and tragacanth control groups. Histopathological study indicated that male rats receiving the highest dose of the extract had significantly higher incidence of bile duct preliferation and focal liver cell hyperplasia than the two control groups. These two pathological findings may explain the significant increase of ALP level tn this group of male rats. The results suggested that high doses of the extract may cause hepatoxicity that could alter both function and morphology of the liver. Male rats receiving the extract also had significantly higher creatinine levels than that of the tragacanth control group. In addition, female rats given 0.16 and 1.28 g extract/kg BW also had higher creatinine levels than that of the tragacanth control group. However, histopatological examination of the kidneys showed no significant difference between extract-treated groups and both of the control groups. The results suggested that the extract at the highest dose may also affect kidney function
      Taken together, the results of our chronic toxicity study of ethanolic extract of Tinospora crispa   suggest that, due to the hepatottoxic and renal toxic potential of the extract observed in rats, prolonged use of high doses of T. crispa   in humans should be avoided or if signs of liver or renal toxicities occur while using T. crispa  - containing herbal medicine, the drug should be discontinued immediately.