Antiplasmodial Activity of Phyllanthus amarus Preserves Renal Function in Plasmodium berghei Infected Mice

Onyesom, I.; Onumaechi, I. F.; Ehiwario, J.; Dagana, R.; Mishra, Soumya; Percario, Sandro
January 2015
European Journal of Medicinal Plants;2015, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p109
Academic Journal
The antiplasmodial effect of ethanolic leaf extract of Phyllanthus amarus on the biomarkers of renal function was investigated. The phytochemical constituents of the extract were screened. The renal function markers investigated include levels of uric acid, creatinine, urea and electrolytes (HCO-3, Na+, K+ and Cl-) in serum of Plasmodium berghei infected mice treated with P. amarus. Twenty-five (25) adult mice (22-27g bwt) randomly divided into 5 groups (n= 5/grp) were used. Group 1; Normal control (uninfected and untreated), Group 2; malarial control (infected with P. berghei and untreated), Group 3; infected and treated with Pyllanthus amarus leaf extract (200mg/kg bwt), Group 4; uninfected but treated with same dose of Phyllanthus amarus and Group 5; standard control (infected and treated with quinine, 5mg/kg). Each group was so treated for 5 days and on the 6th day the animals were sacrificed under chloroform anaesthesia after an overnight fast. Whole blood samples were obtained by cardiac puncture and then, prepared for biochemical assay using standard methods. Results show that P. berghei malaria infection significantly (p<0.05) increases serum uric acid (9.68±0.21mg/dl), creatinine (1.60±0.26mg/dl) and urea (47.46±0.24mg/dl), but reduced (p<0.05) electrolytes' (Na+ : 106.40±10.10mEq/L, K+ :2.20±0.42mEq/L, Cl- : 60.00±14.38mEq/L and HCO3: 10.98±2.64mEq/L) levels when compared with the control mice. However, treatment of the malaria infection with P. amarus abated the malaria effects in a manner that compares well with the standard quinine treatment and there were no significant differences compared with the control values. The extract and quinine suppressed Plasmodium by 94.5% and 94.7%, respectively in experimental mice. Phytochemicals identified in the leaf extract include alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, terpenoids and glycosides. Results indicate that malarial infection induces renal dysfunction. However, this compromise could be mitigated by the ethanolic leaf extract of P. amarus probably because of its potent in vivo antiplasmodial activity arising from its active phytochemicals. It would therefore be worthwhile to purify and extract the active components of the herb, by a bioassay-guided isolation. With the enriched fractions or the pure compounds, researchers would be able to assess the parasite life phase on which the plant extract is most active.


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