Background: Traditional medicine practitioners claimed that plant extracts are effective in the management of liver and kidney diseases in humans without scientific evidence. Thus, this study evaluated the protective effect of Alchornea cordifolia extract (ACE) and Byrsocarpus coccineus extract (BCE) against diclofenac sodium (DCF) induced oxidative stress and hepatorenal injuries in rats and compared their efficacies. Twenty four rats were divided into 4 groups with 6 rats per group. Normal saline was given to the rats in group 1 while those in groups 3 and 4 were treated with 250 mg/kg ACE and BCE respectively for 28 days by oral gavages. The rats in groups 2 to 4 were injected with 10 mg/kg DCF in the last 7 days of treatment. Blood was collected from rats, serum was separated from the blood and used for estimations of hepatorenal injury markers while the homogenized tissue supernatants were used for assays of oxidative stress markers.
Results: There was a significant (p<0.01) increase in the levels of ALT, AST, GGT, MDA, creatinine and BUN but a significant (p<0.01) decrease in the levels of SOD, CAT, GPx, GST, GSH and G6Pase of DCF-exposed rats when compared with normal control. However, treatment of DCF-injected rats with ACE and BCE significantly (p<0.01) elevated the levels of SOD, CAT, GPx, GST, GSH, and G6Pase but significantly (p<0.01) reduced the levels of ALT, AST, GGT, MDA, creatinine and BUN when compared with DCF control.
Conclusion: These findings showed that treatment with ACE and BCE may have protective effects against DCF-induced hepatorenal damage in rats, attributed to their phytochemicals but ACE has greater activity than BCE.
Key words: Antioxidants, Hepatotoxicity, Inflammation, Nephrotoxicity, Oxidative stress