African Journal of
Biochemistry Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biochem. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0778
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 425

Full Length Research Paper

Hepatotoxic and hemolytic effects of acute exposure of rats to artesunate overdose

Omotuyi I. O1, Nwangwu S. C2, Okugbo O. T1, Okoye O. T2, Ojieh G. C3 and Wogu D.M1
1Department of Basic and Applied Science, Benson Idahosa University, Benin Nigeria. 2Department of Biochemistry, Igbinedion University, Okada Nigeria 3Department of Medical Biochemistry, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 April 2008
  •  Published: 31 May 2008



Hepatotoxic and hemolytic effects of artesunate overdose were examined in rats. Forty (40) rats were grouped randomly into four designated as A, B, C, and D. and were given oral administration of artesunate as follows: 0 mg/kg (control), 1 mg/kg (Under-dose), 2 mg/kg (Normal dose) and 4 mg/kg (Overdose) respectively.  The administration was continued for 5 days. Hepatotoxicity was monitored in the rats as a function of changes in serum levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total serum albumin and malondiadehyde (MDA) level. The hemolytic effect of this drug was monitored by changes in the packed cell volume (PCV), total bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin and malondiadehyde (MDA) levels of erythrocyte. For group D (overdose group) subjects when compared with the control (group A), there was significant (p<0.05) decrease in serum albumin and hematocrit, but significant increase in serum levels of total bilirubin, and conjugated bilirubin. An increased hepatocyte and erythrocyte malondiadehyde level was also observed in group D. The result also shows increased activities for the serum enzymes in all the groups when compared with control group but significant increase was recorded for groups C and D.  There is a clear indication that hepatotoxicity and hemotoxicity are associated with artesunate administration at both required and overdose conditions however these effects are magnified in overdose conditions.


Key words: Artesunate, hepatotoxicity, hemotoxicity, serum enzymes, bilirubin, malondialdehyde.