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ANTIHYPERTENSIVE AND ELECTROLYTE MODULATORY POTENTIAL OF VERNONIOSIDE E (STEROIDAL SAPONIN) FROM VERNONIA AMYGDALINA (ASTERECEA) IN ADULT ALBINO WISTAR RATS
*Igile G. O., Iwara A. I., Ekpe O. O., Isika A. I. and Mgbeje B. I. A.
Western lifestyle, urban diets and physical inactivity among urban dwellers in Nigeria have caused increase in incidences of hypertension among people of 40 years and above. Drugs for its treatment are expensive, while ethnopharmacology seem to provide alternative and cheaper options. Aqueous leaf extracts of Vernonia amygdalina (Bitter leaf) has been successfully used for centuries in Nigeria to treat hypertension, other cardiovascular diseases, stomach pains, fever and malaria. The present study evaluates the antihypertensive potential of Vernonioside E (VE) and crude extract (CE) of Vernonia amygdalina leaf, and the efficacy of VE and CE in reversing serum electrolyte concentrations, lipid/cholesterol, and enzyme activities implicated in the aetiology and manifestation of hypertension using Albino Wistar rats previously induced with 40mg/Kg bw hypertensive agent (N?-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, L-NAME) as study model. The LD50 of VE was also determined, while LD50 of CE has been previously determined and known. The LD50 of VE was determined to be 0.70 mg/kg. Vernonioside E (105.25± 2.29 mEq/L), the crude extract (108.55± 2.41 mEq/L) and Captopril (112.99± 2.30 mEq/L) produced significant (p<0.05) decreases in serum sodium concentration, when compared to the hypertensive control (165.72±15.05 mEq/L). The chloride levels in treated groups were slightly decreased while the potassium level was slightly increased compared to control groups. There was significant (p<0.05) decrease in total cholesterol levels in treatment groups, VE (56.14±2.15mg/kg), CE (57.40±2.20mg/kg) and Captopril (61.44±0.25mg/kg) compared to hypertensive control (77.63±2.97mg/kg). There were significant (P<0.05) decreases in triacylglycerol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) concentrations of treated groups when compared to hypertensive control. Also, there was significant (p<0.05) elevation of high density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration in treated and normal control groups when compared to hypertensive control. There was a significant (p<0.05) elevation of two key serum enzymes (AST and ALT) concentraions. It was concluded that, the biochemical changes observed suggests that Vernonioside E (VE) and crude extract (CE) of Vernonia amygdalina leaf are potential antihypertensive agents, and this confirms the ethnopharmacological claims of the use of aqueous extracts of the leaves of this plant in the treatment of high blood pressure and associated cardiovascular diseases.[Full Text Article]