Effects of leaves extract of Ocimum sanctum L. on arsenic-induced toxicity in Wistar albino rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb;47(2):490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.12.004. Epub 2008 Dec 13.


Therapeutic efficacy of oral administration of Ocimum sanctum (200mg/kg, once daily) post arsenic exposure (100 ppm in drinking water for 4 months) was investigated in rats. Animals exposed to arsenic (III) showed a significant inhibition of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity, decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH) level and an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) in blood. On the other hand, a significant decrease in hepatic ALAD, and increase in delta-aminolevulinic acid synthetase activity were noted after arsenic exposure. These changes were accompanied by an increase TBARS level in liver and kidney. Activities of liver, kidney and brain superoxide dismutase and catalase also showed a decrease on arsenic exposure. Administration of O. sanctum post arsenic exposure, exhibited significant recovery in blood ALAD activity while, it restored blood GSH and ROS levels. Other blood biochemical variables remained unchanged on O. sanctum supplementation. Interestingly, there was a marginal, but significant depletion of arsenic from blood, liver and kidneys. The results conclude that post arsenic administration of O. sanctum has significant role in protecting animals from arsenic-induced oxidative stress and in the depletion of arsenic concentration. Further studies thus can be recommended for determining the effect of co-administrating of O. sanctum during chelating therapy with a thiol chelator.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Arsenic Poisoning / enzymology
  • Arsenic Poisoning / pathology
  • Arsenic Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Arsenites / pharmacokinetics
  • Arsenites / poisoning
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Ocimum / chemistry*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood
  • Sodium Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Sodium Compounds / poisoning
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Arsenites
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sodium Compounds
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • sodium arsenite
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase
  • Glutathione