Present investigations were carried out on the effect of ethanol extract of Desmodium velutinum stem on some liver enzymes of albino wistar rats fed with high fat from cowâs brain. Twelve healthy albin groups. Group I rats were fed with balanced diet ( mash) and tap water. Group II rats wer alone. Group III rats received combine 30% ethanol extract of Desmoduim elutinum stem (2.7g/day), Group IV rats were fed with fat diet (cowâs brain) and w(5mg/rat/day). The rats were sacrificed at the end of the experimental (two weeks) period. The plant extract was screened for its phytochemical constituents, using standard procedures. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, saponins and alkaloids. The liver function tests was assessed by measuring the total bilirubin, total serum protein, direct and indirect bilirubin and liver enzymes such as Alanine amino transferase (ALT), Aspartate amino transferase (AST), Alkaline phosphate (ALP), Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) on the liver of the albino wistar rat. The serum, ALT, ALP, AST and bilirubin concentration of the albino wistar rat increased significantly (P>0.05) compared to their total protein concentration. The result obtained indicate that the ethanol extract of Desmodium Velutinum stem possess hepatoprotective activity on the fatty liver of albino wistar rat fed with fat from cowâs brain. The studied amount of phytochemicals including flavonoid, alkaloid, saponin, tannins, terpenoid which were determined quantitatively using literature methods. The significant effect of the Desmodium velutinum stem ethanol extract was compared with standard drug, atorvastatin. The result in the present study suggest that the ethanol extract of Desmodium velutinum stem can be used in treating liver diseases.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TAXONOMY OF PLANT (DESMODIUM VELUTINUM)
WHAT THE LIVER DOES
LIVER FUNCTION TEST/MARKER ENZYMES
2.5 LIVER MARKERS ENZYMES (AST, ALT, ALP, GGT, LDH)
USES OF LIVER FUNCTION TEST -
TYPES OF PHYTOCHEMICALS
3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1 IDENTIFICATION AND EXTRACTION OF DESMODIUM VELUTINUM
EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODEL
COLLECTION OF BLOOD SAMPLES
3.5 PROCEDURES FOR CARRYING OUT LIVER FUNCTION
4.0 QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS (PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF
4.1 QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS (QUALITATIVE PHYTOCHEMISTRY)
4.2 LIVER FUNCTION TEST OF RATS FEED WITH VARIOUS SAMPLES
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE I QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF ETHANOL EXTRACT OF
DESMODIUM VELUTINUM STEM
TABLE II QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF ETHANOL EXTRACT
DESMODIUM VELUTINUM STEM
TABLE III LIVER FUNCTION TESTS OF ALBINO WISTAR RATS FED
WITH VARIOUS SAMPLES
LIST OF FIGURE
FIGURE I DESMODIUM VELUTINUM PLANT
The liver is the largest and most complex internal organ in the body. It plays an important role in the maintenance of internal environment through its multiple and diverse functions. Liver is involved in several vital functions such as metabolism, secretion and storage. Hepatitis or inflammatory disorder involves inflammation and change to the hepatocytes. Hepatitis is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Every year 18,000 people had been reported to die due to liver cirrhosis caused by viral hepatitis (Wang et al., 2008). Ectopic fat storage occurs in obesity, particularly in the liver leading to a condition termed non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) characterized by varying degree of liver injury that progresses from steatosis to tratohepatitis, fibrosis and necrosis. Due to its prominent association with insulin resistance/obesity, NAFLD is regarded as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Liver has great capacity to detoxicate toxic substance and synthesizes useful principles. Therefore damage to liver inflicted by hepatotoxic agents is of grave consequences. Experimental studies have reported that animal fed a high fat diet (HFD) for more than two months develop weight, hyperlipidemic, hyperglycemia, oxidative stress and insulin resistance (IR). Besides, consumption of a calorie-rich diet results in lipid accumulation, excess production of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration that favours the
progression of liver disease. Many medicinal plant/indigenous plant have been mentioned and well established as hepatoprotective agents.
Desmodium velutinum is a medicinal plant around the world. The extract of
Desmodium velutinum showed significant anti-pyretic activity on experimental rats used. Desmodium velutinum is very rich in alkaloids and related amino compounds. It is a source of flavonoid, saponins and pharmacological active agent useful in the treatment of aches and pains. It also showed that one of the uses is for erectile enhancing property. Desmodium velutinum being one of the important medicinal plant in the world may have effect on the liver. However limited studies are available on the effect of Desmodium velutinum treatment on hepatoprotective effect of its extract on high fat diet fed animal. In this regard, the present study was aimed to investigate the effect of ethanol extract of Desmodium velutinum stem on
liver function tests on albino wistar rats fed with high fatrelated from to different hepatoprotective effect by comparing it to a known drug, atorvastatin
treatment which is used to lower the level of cholesterol in blood. Since changes in the concentration and composition of plasma lipid and lipoproteins occur frequently in liver disease, these findings may be useful in following the clinical course of patient with liver diseases of various causes.
Liver disease is associated with characteristic changes in the lipid composition of the surface coat of plasma lipoprotein particles. Cholesterol accumulate as hepatic secretion of lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase decreases, such abnormal circulating lipoproteins tend to induce corresponding changes in cell membrane lipid composition. Studies in both human and experimental liver disease confirm that this does occur and that it is wide-spread. Low density lipoproteins, which are rich in cholesterol can also be taken up by the liver or extrahepatic tissues by a receptor mediated endocytosis that specially recognizes apolipoproteins. It can be predicted that extra hepatic membrane dysfunction might be a general feature of severe liver disease. It is proposed that many of the cellular disturbances and metabolic abnormalities accompanying hepatic disease result from, or are exacerbated by lipoprotein induced changes in membrane lipid composition and function. Hence
Desmodium velutinum may be a source of a pharmacological active agent useful in the treatment of high level cholesterol in the blood which has got both liver protecting and nutritional value.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
The use of herbs and medicinal plants as the first medicine is a universal phenomenon. Every culture on earth, through written or oral traditions has relied on the vast variety of natural medicine found in healing plants for their therapeutic properties. All drugs of the past were substances with a particular therapeutic action extracted from plants. This, natural plants have been valuable sources of medicinal agent with proven potential of treating infectious disease and with lesser side effects compared to the synthetic drug agents. Hence potentially useful drugs can often be recognized from their relative importance and use in folk medicine. Desmodium velutinum has been reported in traditional medicine to have medicinal properties Extracts of Desmodium velutinum are used traditionally in some disease, hence may be as sources of a pharmacological active agent in the treatment of aches and pains. Ethanolic extract of Desmodium velutinum possess antipyretic property
2.1 TAXONOMY OF PLANT (DESMODIUM VELUTINUM)
It is called “Ikeagwuani” becausey. it has er
DESCRIPTION OF PLANT
Desmodium velutinum is a perennial, erect or semi-erect shrub or sub-shrub, up to 3m high. Branches often dark red, yellow- brown when young, velutinuous and short hooked-hairy. Leaves 1- foliolate, rarely 3- foliolate, ovate, ovate- lanceolate, triangular-ovate, or broadly ovate, 4-20 cm long and 2.5-13cm wide, chartaceous to coriaceous, upper surface continuously oppressed-pubescent, lower surface densely velutinous. Inflorescence often dense, terminal or auxiliary racemose or paniculate, 4-20cm long, with 2-5 flowers at each node, flowers purple to pink. Pods narrowly oblong, 1-2.5 cm long, 2-3 mm wide, with dense yellow straight hairs inter mixed with short hooked hairs, 5-7 jointed. Seeds ovate, flat, 1.3-1.6mm x 1.8-2.5mm, yellow when ripe. Depending on the genotype, there are 320,000-830,000 seeds per kg. Desmodium velutinum belongs to the botanical family fabacea. It is a perennial, erect or semi-erect shrub up to 3m high. The plant is generally called
“Ikeagwuani”,sareused thefor controlleaveofnon-specific diarrhoea. About 30 grams of whole leaves may be boiled in about 150-200ml of water and 20-50ml of the extract taken depending on the severity of the diarrhoea. The dose may be taken once but not more than two doses may be taken in a day. Children may take lower doses. It is also claimed that the water extract of the leaves is used as an aphrodisiac.
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE PLANT
Sub-tropical Asia (China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam) and tropical Africa.
Other Species of Desmodium Include
Desmodium lasiocarpum (P. Beauu). DC
Desmodium latifolium (Roxb.ex ker Gawl) DC
Hedysarum lasiocarpum (P. Beauv)
Hedysarum latifolium Roxb. Ex ker Gawl
Hedysarum velutinum wild
Meibomia lasiocarpa (P. Beau.) kuntze
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Desmodium appears to be predominantly self-pollinating. However, when flowers are touched, they spring open and release pollen which makes outcrossing possible.
Desmodium is mainly found humid to sub-humid regions of the tropics and subtropics, on acid soils (pH <6.5). The usual habitats are open wood land and forest clearings. In equitorial regions, desmodium species are found from sea-level up to 3000m attitude. The photoperiod sensitivity varies with the specie.
PROPAGATION AND PLANTING
Propagation of desmodium is by seed. The degree of scarification necessary for successful germination varies between species.
DISEASES AND PESTS
Desmodium is affected by a range of diseases. Pathogens like the fungi synchytrium
desmodii and phanerochaeta salmonicolor, causing wart and pink disease
respectively, the root-knot nematodes meloidogyne arenaria, meloidogyne hapla,
meloidogyne incognita and meloidogyne javanica and the stem gall nematode pterotylendius cecidogenus.
USES OF DESMODIUM
Desmodium shows a broad range of traditional medicinal uses. In South-East Asia they are considered diuretic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and stomach-ache, wound, ulcers and other skin problems, stones in the gall bladder, kidney, headache and toothache. In Philippines, a decotion of desmodium triflorum is use as a month wash and as an expectorant and also used internally as a galactagogue. In Taiwan, the whole part is used against fever, rheumatism, jaundice and gonorrhea. The boiled roots of desmodium heterocapon are used in Malaysia to poultice sore breast and a decotion of the plant is regarded as a tonic and a bechic. In Cambodia, the stem are applied to fractures and snaked bites. In India, the whole plant is used to treat stomach ache and abdominal problems. Desmodium contains a considerable number of species used as pasture and fodder crops, species used for ground cover and green manure, some of these have
medicinal applications as well. A decotion of the roots is used against rickets in children in Taiwan.
Desmodium is very rich in alkaloids and related amino compounds, biosynthetically derived from different precursors. Compounds like hyypaphorine-N, N-dimethyl tryptamine; hordenine is known to increase the urinary flow, and to be a remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. Others are isoflavonoids, desmodin and gangetin which is isolated from the roots of Desmodium gangeticum that adversely affect the fertility and reproductive system of male rats. It reduce the vaginal sperm count and enhance pre-implantation losses. It also cause a dose dependent impairment of fertility. Aqueous root extract shows mild diurectic action, relaxant effects on intestine muscles of rats and dogs and anti-bacterial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory activity. The alkaloid fraction of stems and leaves has shown relaxant (curariform) effects on frog rectal muscles while the methanolic extract of Nigeria Desmodium gangeticum plants has in vitro anti leishmanial activity.