Ethnopharmacological relevance: Adansonia digitata L. Baobab (Bombacaceae) solvent extracts have been reported to possess medicinal properties and are currently been used traditionally for the treatment of malaria and several other diseases and infection; however few reports exist in literature that provides supportive scientific evidence in favour of its medicinal use.
Aim of the study: This study investigated the efficacy of Adansonia digitata stem bark extract in offering protection against experimental malaria and also examined its remediation effect when administered after established infection.
Materials and methods: Weanling albino mice were used in the study. The mice were transfected intraperitonially with an inoculums size of 1× 107 of chloroquine susceptible strain of plasmodium berghei infected erythrocytes. Mechanisms of action of the extract were investigated by measuring the degree of tissue peroxidation and tissue antioxidant status. Severity of malaria was determined by measuring the serum C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and serum and tissue Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity.
Results: There was a significant increase in serum CRP, TNF-α concentrations and serum and tissue ALP activity in the control mice following Plasmodium berghei infection. All the treatment had effect on the growth of Plasmodium berghei parasites in mice. The extracts showed a significant dose dependent increase packed cell volume (PCV), percentage chemosupression/clearance and a significant decrease in percentage parasitemia at the two doses when administered after established infection. Methanolic extract (MEAD) at 400mg/kg exhibited the highest chemosupressive activity. The extract significantly reduced the degree of tissue peroxidation, increased the level of reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase and superoxide dismutase activity. Administration of the extract after established infection reduced serum CRP and TNF-α concentrations and serum and tissue ALP activity.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that Adansonia digitata protects against Plasmodium berghei induced-malaria, and that administration of the extract after established infection reduced malaria progression.
Keywords: Adansonia digitata; Antioxidant; C-reactive protein; Malaria; Tissue peroxidation; Tumor necrosis factor-α.
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