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Microanatomical Effect of ethanolic extract
of Garcinia kola on the lung of Swiss albino
mice
David A. Ofusori, MSc
Department of Anatomy
School of Basic Medical Sciences
Igbinedion University
Okada Edo State Nigeria
Abiodun O. Ayoka, MPhil
Department of Physiological sciences
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife Osun State Nigeria
Adebimpe E. Adelakun, MSc
Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science
University of Lagos
University of Lagos Lagos State Nigeria
Benedict A. Falana, MSc
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife Osun State Nigeria
Olusola A. Adeeyo, MSc
Department of Human Anatomy
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Ogbomoso Oyo State Nigeria
Kazeem O. Ajeigbe, MSc
Department of Physiology,
School of Basic Medical Sciences
Igbinedion University
Okada Edo State Nigeria
Uthman A. Yusuf, BSc
Department of Human Anatomy
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Ogbomoso Oyo State Nigeria
Citation:
David A. Ofusori, Abiodun O. Ayoka, Adebimpe E. Adelakun, Benedict A. Falana, Olusola A.
Adeeyo, Kazeem O. Ajeigbe, Uthman A. Yusuf: Microanatomical Effect of ethanolic extract of
Garcinia kola on the lung of Swiss albino mice. The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine.
2008. Volume 10 Number 1.
Keywords:
Garcinia kola, lung, microanatomy, antioxidant, Swiss albino mice
Table of Contents
Abstract
Introduction
Materials And Methods
Results
Discussion
References
Abstract
Aims and Objectives: To histologically evaluate the possible effect of ethanolic extract of
Garcinia kola seeds on the lung tissue in Swiss albino mice.
Methodology: Garcinia kola seeds were cut in pieces, oven dried at 40°C for 4 days and then
grounded to a fine powder. The powder was extracted with ethanol (70% v/v) and concentrated
and dried under vacuum. The animals were randomly assigned into groups A, B and C
(n=10).Groups B and C were administered with 10 and 20mg/kg doses of the extract
respectively; an equivalent volume of normal saline was given to group A (control group) for
twenty one consecutive days. On the twenty second day the animals were sacrificed, the lungs
excised and fixed in 10% formol saline for histological analysis.
Results: The treated groups present a dilatory effect on the alveolar ducts, alveolar sacs and
alveoli. There was no observable loss of alveolar architecture, no emphysematous areas and no
alveolar congestion in the treated groups.
Conclusion: It may be inferred from the present results that intake of G. kola seed extract for
twenty one consecutive days improves respiratory activities which may be due to its antioxidant
properties in Swiss albino mice.
Introduction
Garcinia kola is a medicinal plant grown in tropical rainforest in West-Africa ( 1 ). The height of
the plant is approximately 14m and it produces reddish, yellowish or orange colour fruits
containing 2 to 4 seeds ( 2 ). Extract from the bark of this plant are used in traditional medicine
for treatment of liver cirrhosis and hepatitis ( 3,4 ). In Nigeria, the plant is valued for its edible
nut. The plant exhibit pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-
viral and anti-fungal properties( 5,6,7,8 ). Garcinia kola have been reported by the following
authors: ( 9,10, 11,12 ) to contain a complex mixture of prephenylated benxophenones, xanthones
and biflavonoids. Garcinia kola by its biflavonoids content, possesses antioxidant properties. The
production of antioxidant decline with age ( 13 ) and as such, requires nutritional suppliments.
Administration of G. kola seed extracts caused an increase in testosterone production in Sprague-
Dawley rats ( 14,15 ) due to the anti-oxidant properties of its constituents. Also, Adesanya et al ( 2 )
confirmed the spermatogenic and tissue enhancing effects of G. Kola extract in male Wistar rats.
The medicinal use of plants leaves and roots in the management and treatment of diseases have
been an age long practice ( 16 ). The continued investigation into the secondary plant metabolites
has led to important breakthroughs in pharmacology.
The lung is the essential respiratory organ in air-breathing vertebrates, the most primitive being
the lungfish. The two lungs are located in the chest on either side of the heart. Their principal
function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and to release carbon
dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere ( 17 ). This exchange of gases is accomplished
in the mosaic of specialized cells that form millions of tiny, exceptionally thin-walled air sacs
called alveoli. Lungs also have non respiratory functions which included influence on the
concentration of biologically active substances and drugs in medicine; filter blood clots in the
veins; serve as physical layer of soft, shock-absorbent for the heart; and filter out gas micro-
bubbles occurring in the venous blood stream ( 17 ).
Evidence from the literatures showed that lots of researches on medicinal plant supplements are
centered on other visceral organs neglecting the lung in traditional alternative medicine. In view
of the vital role of the lung vis-à-vis the possible side effect of this ornamental plants on visceral
organs, we set to investigate the possible effect of ethanolic extract of G. kola seeds on the
alveolar architecture of lung tissue in Swiss albino mice.
Materials And Methods
Plant Materials
The seeds of G. kola were procured from a local market in Ile-Ife, Osun-State, Nigeria. It was
identified in the Department of Botany, Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria, were a voucher
was deposited at the Harbarium. The seeds were cut in pieces, oven dried at 40 o C for 4 days and
then grounded to a fine powder.
Preparation of extract
The powdered material (100g) was percolated with 70% ethanol. The extract obtained yield
(29.15%). It was then concentrated to a semi-solid form using the rotary evaporator, weighed and
administered orally at a dose of 10mg/kg and 20mg/kg as the plant extract for a period of twenty
one consecutive days.
Animal treatment
Thirty Swiss male albino mice (27-30g) were used for the experiment. They were maintained
under standard laboratory conditions in the Animal Holdings of Igbinedion University, Okada,
Nigeria, and fed with standard pelleted diet and water ad libitum. The animals were randomly
assigned into groups A, B and C (n=10).Groups B and C were administered with 10 and
20mg/kg doses of the extract respectively; an equivalent volume of normal saline was given to
group A (control group) for twenty one consecutive days. On the twenty second day, the animals
were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and the lungs excised. All experimental procedures
followed the recommendations provided in the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory
Animals” (National Academy Press, 1996)
Histological procedure
Histological examination was done by fixing the lungs tissues of the mice in 10% formol saline,
processed and embedded in paraffin wax. Tissue blocks were sectioned at 5 µm thick and stained
with Haematoxylin and Eosin (H & E).
Results
Sections of lung tissue in both the control and treated groups (Fig. 1-3), have the appearance of
fine lace because most of the lung is composed of thin-walled alveoli. The alveoli are composed
of a single layer of flattened epithelial cells. Between the alveoli are thin layer of septum and
numerous capillaries also lined with simple squamous epithelium. The extract presents a positive
effect on the alveolar architecture. There was no observable loss of alveolar architecture, no
emphysematous areas and no alveolar congestion in the treated groups.
Figure 1: Photomicrograph of the lung of group A (control) (Mag. x100)
Figure 2: Photomicrograph of the lung of group B (Mag. x100)
Figure 3: Photomicrograph of the lung of group C (Mag. x100)
Discussion
The extract has demonstrated a very significant dose dependent positive role in alveolar
ventilation. There was no loss of alveolar architecture, no emphysematous areas, and no alveolar
congestion in the treated and control groups. The ultimate importance of pulmonary ventilatory
system is to continually renew the air in the gas exchanged areas i.e. the alveoli, alveolar sacs,
alveolar ducts and respiratory bronchioles ( 18,19 ). Report of Massaro and Massaro ( 20 ) showed
that during normal quiet respiration, the volume of air in the tidal air is only enough to fill the
respiratory passage ways down as far as the terminal bronchioles, with only a small portion of
the inspired air actually flowing all the way in to the alveoli. The present investigation showed
that G. kola extract exhibits a dilatory effect on the alveolar ducts, alveolar sacs and alveoli (Fig.
1-3) in the treated groups. This dilatory effect may be due to an improvement on the elastic fibers
of the supporting tissue surrounding the alveolar ducts and the openings of the alveolar sacs and
alveoli. The functional implication of this is that there will be an easy flow of air from the
terminal bronchioles in to the alveoli thus, increasing the alveoli ventilation. This may be acting
in synergy with type II pneumocytes which secrete surfactant which reduces surface tension
within the alveoli preventing alveolar collapse during respiration. The dose dependent effect of
G. kola extract on the alveoli architecture may be due to its biflavonoids content ( 21 ) which
possesses antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from toxins by mopping up oxygen
radicals produced from oxidative stress ( 22 ). Nutritional suppliments from plant sources such as
G. kola exhibit promising pharmacological properties which can be exploited in the management
of respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Finally, it can be concluded that ethanolic extract of G. kola improves respiratory activities
which may be due to its antioxidant properties in Swiss albino mice.
Acknowledgement
The authors are grateful to the technical staff of Zoology Department, Obafemi Awolowo
University, Nigeria, for their role when taking the photomicrographs.
Corresponding author
Ofusori David A.
Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medical Sciences,
Igbinedion University, Nigeria.
E-mail: davidofus234@yahoo.com
Tel: +234-803-445-5715
References
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Adesanya RA (2007). Micromorphometric and Stereological Effects of Ethanolic Extracts of
Garcinia cambogia seeds on the Testes and Epididymides of Adult Wistar Rats. The Internet
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Chewing Sticks In Eastern Nigeria. Global J. Pure and Applied Sci., 9:235-238.
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Garcinia Acid Esters From The Fruits Of Garcinia Atroviridis. Z Naturforsch. , 57(34):291-295.
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... A G. kola nut tree may be planted when a baby is born with the child becoming its life long owner. In proposals of marriage, young men offer G. kola nuts to the father of the bride, and an exchange of G. kola nuts is essential in many business dealings as well [3] . ...
... The quest for naturally occurring compounds of herbal or plant origin that could be of benefit as contraceptive and fertility control agents stimulated the interest of Isawumi in G. kola, whose seeds are widely consumed as a stimulant [3] . ...
... The traditional African medicinal uses include treatment of cough, purgative, anti-parasitic and anti-microbial [2] [3] . The seed is used in the treatment of diarrhea [1] [3] , bronchitis, throat infections [3] and liver disorder [2] . ...
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