Acute toxicity of saponins from the fruit of bitter apple Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad,on the Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout)

Ehab E. M. Alias, Mohamed H. Zeinelabdin, Nabil H. H.Bashir, Yousif O. H. Assad


Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad (CCT) is an important medicinal plant belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. It is a well-recognized plant in the traditional medicine and used in rural areas as a purgative, ant diabetic and insecticide. The objective of this study was to evaluate saponins acute toxicity. Crude saponins were extracted from the rind andtheir acute toxicity was determined on Norway rat Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout). Five dosage levels (60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 mgs saponins/rat) were selected following a pilot study and administered intraperitoneally (I.P.) to each batch of albino rats (4 rats/ batch). The treated rats were observed for 96 hr for acute toxicity symptoms. Death occurred between 1–4 days post- treatment. The corrected mortalities were 0, 25,50,75 and 100%, respectively. The LC50 was 79.43 mg / rat. Symptoms and behavioural changes during the observation period were anorexia, abnormal gait, twitches, blepharoptosis, reduced activity and bleeding. Severe diarrhoea was the most serious symptom.The study has identified CCT, viz. its saponins content, as a promising plant with acute and broad rodenticidal activity.

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