Protective effects of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) seed oil on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar rats

MacDonald Idu, Oghale Ovuakporie-Uvo, Suzan O. Okojie


Background: Azadirachta indica (neem) seed oil was evaluated for its hepatoprotective effect. Liver damage was induced using carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) while silymarin served as a positive control.

Aim: This study is aimed at testing the hepatoprotective potentials of A. indica seed oil on Wistar rats.

Method: Hepatotoxicity was induced by the administration of 1.0 mL/kg of CCl4 subcutaneously to 72 healthy Wistar rats of both sexes (weight range: 145 g – 315 g). The seed oil of A. indica was orally administered daily in various doses of 0.25 mL/kg, 0.5 mL/kg and 1.0 mL/kg for 14 days. Animal body and organ weights were recorded, while blood and liver tissues were collected for biochemical, haematological and histological analyses.

Results: Treatment with neem seed oil lowered the aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase levels significantly (P < 0.05) in a dose-dependent manner compared to the control. The haematological parameters, organ weight index and animal body weight showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) when compared with the control. Histology assessment was in agreement with the biochemical result as tissues of CCl4 exhibited significant fatty tissue accumulation, as opposed to that of 0.25 mL/kg neem treatment, which showed only moderate accumulation of fatty tissues, while higher doses, 0.5 mL/kg and 1.0 mL/kg, showed a healthy liver as compared with the control.

Conclusion: The result of this study revealed that neem seed oil had a dose-dependent hepatoprotective effect on the experimental rats.


Azadirachta indica; Hepatoprotective; silymarin; carbon tetrachloride

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Submitted: 10 January 2017
Published: 18 August 2017

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Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development    |    ISSN: 2519-559X (PRINT)