HEPATOTOXIC EFFECT OF THE LEAVES OF SOME CORDIA SPECIES

A. Rapisarda, S. Ragusa, A. De Pasquale
In a previous study we investigated the "in vitro" cytotoxic effect of different extracts of Cordia francisci Ten., C. martinicensis Roem. et Schult., C. myxa L., C. serratifolia H.B.K. and C. ulmifolia Juss. (Boraginaceae) leaves, and we found that the ethanolic macerates, of C. martinicensis and C. ulmifolia leaves particularly, show a significant cytotoxicity, probably due to pyrrolizidine alkaloids (Gabbrielli et al., 1992). Therefore, we carried out some researches concerning possible liver damages following administration of ethanolic macerates of the above-mentioned Cordia leaves in the rat. The animals (ten for each group) were given the ethanolic macerates by gavage, at a dose equivalent to 5 g of dried vegetable tissue/Kg body weight, daily for 14 days; then they were sacrificed, their liver removed and observed by optic and scanning electron microscopy.

Changes of hepatic parenchyma, partially resembling the histological characteristic of veno-occlusive disease, were found in the liver of the animals treated with the ethanolic macerates of C. martinicensis and of C. ulmifolia leaves.

The conversion of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids to toxic metabolites in the liver would explain why this organ is usually the principal site of the damage.

Rapisarda, A., Ragusa, S. and De Pasquale, A. (1993). HEPATOTOXIC EFFECT OF THE LEAVES OF SOME CORDIA SPECIES. Acta Hortic. 332, 237-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.332.30
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.332.30
332_30
237-242

Acta Horticulturae