The nephrotoxic effects of Strophantus hispidus stem bark (aqueous and ethanol) in normal rats were assessed. Male rats (Wistar strain) numbering 45 were randomly selected into nine groups of five rats each. Four groups were given 100, 200, 500 and 800 mg/kg body weight aqueous extract, while another four groups received similar doses of ethanol extract. One group served as untreated normal control. After 28 days of daily administration of the extracts and water, animals were sacrificed. Urea, creatinine and some electrolytes (Na+, K+, Cl- & HCO3-) were assessed. Both extracts produced significant increases (p<0.05) in urea concentration at 800 mg/kg when compared with the control group. At the same dose, significant increase (p<0.05) were observed in creatinine concentration for the aqueous and ethanol extracts treated groups while the ethanol extract treated groups at 500 mg/kg body weight also showed significant increases (p<0.05) in creatinine. Similarly, K+ significantly increased at 800 mg/kg body weight for both extracts while Na+ produced a significant increase at the same dose for the aqueous extract treated groups. However, a significant increase in Na+ was observed in the ethanol treated groups at the doses of 500 and 800 mg/kg. Interestingly, no significant effects (p>0.05) were observed in the levels of Cl- and HCO3- at all the doses of aqueous extract administered. The ethanol extract treated groups however showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in Cl- content and a significant decrease (p<0.05) in HCO3- content at the highest dose administered when compared with the control. The findings from this study suggest that higher doses of S. hispidus are inimical to kidney function. It also indicates that the extract may be deleterious to the nephrons than aqueous extract.
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