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The comparative evaluation of the effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa on inflammatory cytokines, duodenal antioxidants and histoarchitecture in Wistar rats.

Izuchukwu Azuka Okafor, Uchenna Somtochukwu Okafor, Johnson Okwudili Nweke, Selasie Ahiatrogah, Chibugo Ekene Chukwuanu, Ifeoma Fidelia Ekwomadu, Ifunanya Geraldine Ikeh.


Background: Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) is a used as a food flavoring agent and an herbal beverage in different parts of the world. There is a need to ascertain the safety of administration of HS in different body organs. This study investigated the comparative effect of HS in the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, duodenal antioxidant status and histopathology in Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods
Thirty (15 males and 15 females) Wistar rats with an average weight of 204 g and 147 g respectively were randomly divided into three (3) groups (n=5), A-C for each sex. Group A was given no treatment and served as the normal control group. Groups B and C received oral administration of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg of MEHS respectively. The extract was administered once a day for 21 days using oral cannula. The animals were fasted overnight on the last day of MEHS administration and anesthetized using chloroform. Blood was collected from the animals for the interleukins assay procedure. The animals were sacrificed after blood collection, and the duodenum was harvested for histological processing and oxidative status determination.
Results: The male glutathione level was significantly increased in group B and decreased in group C respectively (p = 0.039) when compared to the control group; while the female duodenum showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in the levels of SOD, GSH, and CAT across all test groups, when compared to the control. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the expression of inflammatory cytokines across all treated groups when compared to the control. The duodenal histological section of male rats in groups B and C showed signs of inflammation and mucosal erosion.
Conclusions: MEHS demonstrated antioxidative potential at a low dose in male duodenum with attending tissue toxicity, but showed inflammatory and toxic effects at a higher dose in male rats. However, the tissue inflammatory effects of MEHS failed to induce oxidation nor the production of the inflammatory cytokines - interleukin 1α and interleukin 4. MEHS may not be safe for the male duodenum.

Key words: antioxidants; cytokines; duodenum; Hibiscus sabdariffa; histopathology inflammation; Roselle

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