Effect of Telfairia Occidentalis on Erythrocyte Indices of Rats Following Acute Blood Loss

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2010 Dec;39 Suppl:117-21.


Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) leaf is popularly used in soup and folk medicine preparation in the management of various diseases such as diabetics, anaemia, and gastrointestinal disorders in Nigeria. This study sought to investigate the effect of orally administered aqueous extract of T. occidentalis leaf on some erythrocyte indices in albino rats of the Wistar strain following acute blood loss. Thirty rats were divided into 6 equal groups. Blood loss (haemorrhagic anaemia) was induced by bleeding 30% of the blood volume of rats through the retro-orbital venus plexus in 3 groups (IV-VI). Group I served as the normal control. 10mg or 20mg/day of T. occidentalis leaf extract were administered orally, once daily to Groups II and III respectively, for 28 days. Group IV served as the bled control. Groups V and VI were bled animals to which 10mg or 20mg/day of T. occidentalis leaf extract was administered orally, once daily respectively, for 28 days. On the 29th day, the rats (fasted overnight) were sacrificed by decapitation and blood was collected through the retro-orbital venus plexus and used for assessment of some erythrocyte indices: red blood cell count, haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, white blood cell count, MCV, MCH, MCHC, and erythrocyte osmofragility. Telfairia occidentalis noticeable increased the red blood cell count of the treated bled rats with 10mg or 20mg/day of T. occidentalis leaf extract to give 11.90 x 10(12)/L and 11.91 x 10(12)/L respectively when compared to the bled control (10.85 x 10(12)/L), P<0.05). The 20mg/day T. occidentalis treated group showed increase in MCV (43.98fl) when compared to the bled control (39.56fl). Erythrocyte osmofragility which was decreased in the bled control was further decreased noticeably by the 20mg T. occidentalis treated group. The improved erythrocyte indices, at 20mg/day of extract, and reduced erythrocyte osmofragility are indications oferythropoietic potential of T. occidentalis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Cucurbita / chemistry*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Erythrocyte Indices / drug effects*
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemorrhage*
  • Male
  • Osmotic Fragility
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Water


  • Plant Extracts
  • Water