Sub-chronic safety evaluation of the ethanol extract of Aralia elata leaves in Beagle dogs

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Aug:79:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2016.05.005. Epub 2016 May 6.


Aralia elata Seem. (A. elata) is a traditional Chinese medicine to treat some diseases. This investigation aims to evaluate the pharmaceutical safety of the ethanol extract of A. elata leaves, namely ethanol leaves extract (ELE), in Beagle dogs. In sub-chronic oral toxicity study, dogs were treated with the ELE at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg for 12 weeks and followed by 4 weeks recovery period. During experimental period, clinical signs, mortality, body temperature, food consumption and body weight were recorded. Analysis of electrocardiogram, urinalysis, ophthalmoscopy, hematology, serum biochemistry, organ weights and histopathology were performed. The results showed that both food consumption and body weight significantly decreased in high-dose group. Treatment-related side effects and mortality were observed in high-dose female dogs. Some parameters showed significant alterations in electrocardiogram, urinalysis, serum biochemistry and relative organ weights. These alterations were not related to dose or consistent across gender, which were ascribed to incidental and biological variability. The findings in this study indicated that the no-observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of the ELE was 100 mg/kg in dogs and provided a vital reference for selecting a safe application dosage for human consumption.

Keywords: Aralia elata Seem.; Beagle dogs; Sub-chronic toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aralia / chemistry
  • Aralia / toxicity*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Electrocardiography
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / toxicity*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Solvents / chemistry*
  • Time Factors
  • Toxicity Tests, Subchronic / methods*


  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • Ethanol