SUB-ACUTE TOXICITY AND GENOTOXICITY ASSESSMENT OF THE RHIZOME EXTRACT OF ACORUS CALAMUS L., A MEDICINAL PLANT OF INDIA
Purobi Nath, Arun K. Yadav* and Amar Deep Soren
The rhizomes of Acorus calamus L. have been used as a folk medicine against many diseases and disorders in India. This study assessed the sub-acute toxicity and genotoxicity potentials of A. calamus rhizome extract in Swiss albino mice. The mice were treated with a low (400 mg/kg) and a high (800 mg/kg) dose of A. calamus rhizome extract for 14 days. The sub-acute toxicity study analyzed the haematological, biochemical parameters, and histopathology of liver, kidney and spleen of animals. The genotoxicity assessement was done in vivo by chromosomal aberrations assay on bone marrow cells of mice. No mortality or behavioural adverse effects were observed in animals by 800 mg/kg oral dose of extract for 14 days. In biochemical assay, only 800 mg/kg dose revealed significant increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total and direct bilirubins. No major effects were evident in any biochemical parameters by 400 mg/kg dose. In the haematological assay, only the high dose of extract showed significant increase in the numbers of neutrophils and lymphocytes, however, all blood parameters appeared normal in mice treated with 400 mg/kg dose of extract. The histopathological assessments of liver, kidney and spleen tissues also showed several deviations from their normal architectures only in the high dose treated group of animals. The genotoxic assessments revealed maximum frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in 800 mg/kg extract-treated animals. Taken together, this study suggested that 800 mg/kg dose of A. calamus rhizome extract may cause several toxic and genotoxic effects in experimental animals.
Keywords: Acorus calamus, folk medicine, genotoxicity, helminth parasite, histopathology, sub-acute toxicity.
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