Lead-induced toxicities in Wistar rats: Mitigating effects of ethanol leaf extract of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf.
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Cymbopogon citratus
Lead acetate
oxidative stress
reactive oxygen species


Herbal products have gained important applications in the management and treatment of several diseases. Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. (Lemon grass) is an all season plant found throughout the entire world, particularly in the tropics with several bioactive components. Lead is a wide spread environmental pollutant reported to induce pathological conditions in humans. One possible mechanism of lead toxicity is oxidative stress. We evaluated the effects of ethanol leaf extract of C. citratus (EECC) on lead-induced toxicity in rats. Five groups of six rats each (control, EECC, lead acetate (PbAc), EECC+PbAc and PbAc recovery) were used in this study. Lead acetate (60 mg/kg) and EECC (500 mg/kg) were administered by gavage respectively. Lead toxicity reduced the antioxidants biomarkers, significantly increased the frequency of micronuclei formation in rat bone marrow cells and the level of DNA fragmentation in the liver tissue.  The serum activities of the renal injury biomarkers were increased, the sperm count and motility were decreased while the percentage sperm abnormality was increased. However, administration of EECC significantly restored the antioxidant defense system, reduced the frequency of micronuclei formation and DNA fragmentation, offered protection against hepatorenal toxicities but did not protect against lead-induced damages on testicular tissues. Findings from this study, point out that the protective activity of EECC may be through its free radical scavenging properties.

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