1.1 Background of the Study
Humans and animals alike are inseparable from their environment since it contributes to their general wellbeing. However, when the environment is compromised by way of pollution, it facilitates the deterioration in the health of its occupants (humans and animals) rather than contributing to their overall wellbeing. Arsenic is an environmental pollutant and a carcinogen that has been reported to contaminate groundwater in many parts of the World, including Nigeria (Anwar et al; 2002). Several studies have linked arsenic exposures from contaminated drinking water to carcinogenesis among inhabitants of different countries (Chiou et al; 1995). Exposure to arsenic has also been reported to culminate in renal injury which may lead to the development of tubulointerstitial nephritis and acute tubular necrosis (Aleksunes et al; 2008). In addition, consumption of arsenic contaminated drinking water enhances the development of renal injury and hypertension (Zalups, 1997).
Most locals, especially those in low-income countries have been compelled to use medicinal plants for their healthcare needs due to unaffordable cost of orthodox drugs. Irvingia gabonensis O’Rorke Baill (also called bush mango or wild mango) is one of such medicinal plants. The stem bark of I. gabonensis is used in Cameroon to treat hunch back and infections (Ajanohoun et al; 1996). The aqueous maceration of the leaves is utilized as an antidote to combat poisonous substances. The stem bark is also used in treating gonorrhea, hepatic and gastrointestinal disorders in Senegal (Hubert et al; 2010). The hematological, hepatoprotective, anti-diabetic and prophylactic effects of stem bark and leaf extracts of this plant have also been reported in animal models (Omonkhua and Onoagbe, 2010).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The medicinal effect of leaf extracts of I. gabonensis under conditions of induced toxicities in Wistar rats have been documented. However, there is little or no documented information on the renal protective effect of the leaf of this plant against sodium arsenite-induced toxicity.
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Aleksunes LM, Augustine LM, Scheffer GL, et al. Renal xenobiotics transporters are differentially expressed in mice following cisplatin treatment. Toxicol. 2008; 250: 82-88.
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Ajanohoun JE, Aboubakar N, Dramane K, et al. Traditional Medicine and Pharmacopoeia: Contribution to Ethnobotanical and Floristic Studies in Cameroon. 1996; OAU/STRC.
Hubert DJ, Wabo FG, Ngameni B, et al. In vitro Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Activities of the Crude Extract and Isolated Compounds from Irvingia gabonensis. Asian J Trad Med. 2010; 5: 79-88.
Omonkhua, A.A. and Onoagbe, IO. Effects of long-term oral administration of aqueous extracts of Irvingia gabonensis bark on blood glucose and liver profile of normal rabbits. J Med Plant Res. 2012; 6: 2581−2589.