Anti-malaria studies on Azadirachta indica leaves in rats

J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 6(3): 191-204, 2018.

Original Article | Artículo Original

Therapeutic effects of Azadirachta indica A.Juss. leaves in malaria-induced male Wistar rats

[Efectos terapéuticos de hojas de Azadirachta indica A.Juss. en ratas Wistar machos infectadas con malaria]

Ngozi K. Achi1*, Chimaraoke Onyeabo1, Daniel A. Nnate2*, Chima A. Ekeleme-Egedigwe3, Igwe K. Kalu4, Ikedichim C. Chibundu1, Grace C. Wokoma1

1Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, PMB 7267, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological and Physical Sciences, Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria.
3Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, PMB 1010 Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
4Department of Veterinary Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.



Context: Azadirachta indica has long been used in herbal or folk medicine as a remedy for the treatment of malaria and the administration of herbal preparations has raised concerns on their toxicity.

Aims: To determine the phytochemical content of A. indica and its therapeutic effect on indices of clinical importance in malaria-induced male Wistar rats.

Methods: Plant material was extracted with ethanol, and the lethal dose (LD50) on the rats was determined before the study. Normal and Plasmodium berghei infected rats were divided into eight groups of five rats each with groups 1 and 2 serving as normal and disease control respectively. Lumartem was administered twice daily at oral therapeutic doses of artemether/lumefantrine (2/12 mg/kg) and plant extract at 300 and 500 mg/kg body weight. After 5 days of treatment, all the animals were sacrificed according to their groups for the experimental analysis.

Results: The plant extract was considered safe with LD50 > 5000 mg/kg body weight. Quantitative phytochemical studies showed a high concentration of alkaloids, tannin, and terpenoids. Treatment with both extracts of A. indica and lumartem in malaria-infected rats showed a slight reduction in triglycerides while total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL levels increased significantly (p < 0.05). Increase in body weight of rats treated with A. indica was dependent on the concentration of extract administered. Treatment of malaria with the extract and lumartem resulted in a slight restoration of the hematological values.

Conclusions: This study shows that both Azadirachta indica and lumartem was practically safe and well tolerated.

Keywords: anti-malaria; Azadirachta indica; lethal dose; lumartem; phytochemical; Plasmodium.


Contexto: Azadirachta indica se ha utilizado durante mucho tiempo en la medicina herbal para el tratamiento de la malaria y la administración de preparados de hierbas ha generado preocupaciones sobre su toxicidad.

Objetivos: Determinar el contenido fitoquímico de A. indica y su efecto terapéutico en ratas Wistar machos infectadas con malaria.

Métodos: El material vegetal se extrajo con etanol y la dosis letal (LD50) en las ratas se determinó antes del estudio. Las ratas infectadas normales y de Plasmodium berghei se dividieron en ocho grupos de cinco ratas cada uno, con los grupos 1 y 2 como normales y control de la enfermedad, respectivamente. Lumartem se administró oralmente dos veces al día a dosis terapéuticas de arteméter/lumefantrina (2/12 mg/kg) y extracto de planta a 300 y 500 mg/kg de peso corporal. Después de 5 días de tratamiento, todos los animales fueron sacrificados de acuerdo con sus grupos para el análisis experimental.

Resultados: El extracto de la planta se consideró seguro con LD50 > 5000 mg/kg. Los estudios fitoquímicos cuantitativos mostraron una alta concentración de alcaloides, taninos y terpenoides. El tratamiento con ambos extractos de A. indica y lumartem en ratas infectadas con malaria mostró una ligera reducción en los triglicéridos, mientras que los niveles de colesterol total, HDL y LDL aumentaron significativamente (p <0.05). El aumento en el peso corporal de ratas tratadas con A. indica dependió de la concentración de extracto administrado. El tratamiento de la malaria con el extracto y lumartem dio como resultado una ligera restauración de los valores hematológicos.

Conclusiones: Este estudio muestra que tanto Azadirachta indica como lumartem fueron prácticamente seguros y bien tolerados.

Palabras Clave: anti-malaria; Azadirachta indica; dosis letal; fitoquímica; lumartem; Plasmodium.

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Citation Format: Achi NK, Onyeabo C, Nnate DA, Ekeleme-Egedigwe CA, Kalu IK, Chibundu IC, Wokoma GC (2018) Therapeutic effects of Azadirachta indica A.Juss. leaves in malaria-induced male Wistar rats. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 6(3): 191–204.
This article has been cited by:
Tepongning RN, Mbah JN, Avoulou FL, Jerme MM, Ndanga EKK, Fekam FB (2018) Hydroethanolic extracts of Erigeron floribundus and Azadirachta indica reduced Plasmodium berghei parasitemia in Balb/c mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018: Article ID 5156710, 12 pages. DOI: 10.1155/2018/5156710

© 2018 Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes)