In vivo antimalarial and in vitro antioxidant activities of hydro-methanol leaf extract of Fadogia cienkowskii Schweinf. (Rubiaceae)

Celestina I Orabueze, Sunday A Adesegun, Obi Ejeatuluchukwu, Duncan A Ota, Herbert A Coker


Background: Rapid parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs necessitate continuous search for new drugs. Fadogia cienkowskii Schweinf. (Rubiaceae) is one of the several plants utilized in South-East Nigeria for treatment of malaria fever.

Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate antimalarial and antioxidant potentials of leaf extract of F. cienkowskii. The phytochemical profile and toxic heavy metal content were also evaluated.

Methodology: Antimalarial activity of crude leaf extract of F. cienkowskii (100 – 400 mg kg-1) was assessed against chloroquine sensitive Plasmodium berghei (NK65) using suppressive and curative test models. Chloroquine 10 mg kg-1 was used as positive control. Antioxidant activity was evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and ferric reducing antioxidant power methods. The presence of heavy metals in the raw material was evaluated using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric technique and modified Lorke’s method was employed to test for oral acute toxicity.

Results: The results showed that the test plant exhibited antimalarial activities in both models in a dose-dependent manner. The comparison analysis showed that at 400 mg kg-1, the suppressive and curative effects were 93.44% and 72.47% respectively. All the animal groups that received test extract lived longer and weight loss was prevented compared to the negative control group. The test extract exhibited antioxidant potential in DPPH scavenging and FRAP assays compare with Vitamin C. All the tested heavy metals were present but within permissible range. Acute toxicity study of extract revealed no immediate adverse effect(s).

Conclusion: These results support the traditional use of F. cienkowskii in management of malaria fever.

Key Words: Fadogia cienkowskii, Plasmodium berghei, antimalarial, heavy metals, antioxidant


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