Introduction: Mondia whitei (Hook.f.) Skeels is rich in antioxidant activity and is known for its nutritional and medicinal uses. This study evaluated the protective effect of M. whitei fruit against cadmium-induced hepatic damage in rats.
Methods: Twenty-five albino (Wistar strain) rats were randomly assigned into five equal groups. Rats in group I served as control, rats in group II were intoxicated with 5 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) cadmium chloride (CdCl2 ) for 5 days via an oral route, while groups III, IV, and V were respectively administered with 5 mg/kg b.w. CdCl2 for 5 days co-treated with 70 mg/kg b.w silymarin, 250 and 500 mg/kg b.w. of aqueous fruit extract of M. whitei (AEMW) for 7 days.
Results: Cadmium caused a significant (P<0.05) increase in the concentration of cadmium in the liver as well as liver function markers such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and bilirubin. In addition, a significant (P<0.05) elevation in the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and a reduction in the nitric oxide (NO) and antioxidant status were noted in the CdCl2 -exposed rats; hepatic degeneration and congested portal area were also noted. These changes were, however, reduced in the cadmium-intoxicated rats co-treated with silymarin, 250 mg/kg or 500 mg/kg AEMW.
Conclusion: Our result suggests that AEMW exerts protective effects against CdCl2 -induced hepatic damage in rats, and this might be due to the presence of phytochemicals in the plant capable of scavenging oxidative stress caused by cadmium.