Lead, a toxic heavy metal, induces several health problems via oxidative stress. The Paederia foetida extract (PFE), a plant indigenous to Asia, reportedly exhibits potent antioxidant activity. Thereby, this study aimed to investigate the protective effects of PFE on the hematological system and renal and liver function in rats exposed to lead poisoning. Male Wistar rats were divided into six groups and orally administered either 0.25% carboxymethylcellulose as a control, lead acetate [50 mg/kg body weight (BW)], or lead acetate plus one of four concentrations of PFE (50, 100, 500, and 1,000 mg/kg BW). All rats received their treatment daily for 8 weeks. The bodyweight of each animal was recorded weekly. The effects of the lead acetate and PFE were investigated by evaluating the bodyweight and hematological and biochemical parameters, as well as histological studies on the liver and kidney tissues. PFE at 100, 500, and 1,000 mg/kg significantly (p < 0.05) improved the harmful effects of lead administration on the bodyweight, the liver, and the kidney, as well as hematological indices. In conclusion, PFE has a potent protective property against lead-induced toxicity. Since oxidative stress results from exposure to lead, an exogenous chelator with antioxidant activity, such as the low-cost PFE, could be a promising agent for ameliorating lead toxicity.
Key words: Paederia foetida; Lead, Hepatoprotective; Hematology; Liver; Kidney