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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 13, 2017

Citrullus colocynthis Linn. Fruit extract ameliorates cisplatin-induced hepato-renal toxicity in rats

  • Olufunmilayo O. Adeyemi EMAIL logo , Ismail O. Ishola and Ifeoluwa D. Ajani



Cisplatin-induced acute liver and kidney injuries are serious problems in cancer patients during treatment of solid tumours.


This study sought to investigate possible protective effect of ethanolic fruit extract of Citrullus colocynthis (CC) against cisplatin-induced hepato-renal toxicity in rats.


Thirty male albino rats (150–200 g) were divided into five groups (n=6) and treated as follows: group 1: vehicle (10 mL/kg, p.o.; normal control); group 2: vehicle (10 mL/kg); groups 3–5: CC (100, 200 or 400 mg/kg, p.o.), respectively, for 10 days. Cisplatin (7.5 mg/kg; i.p.) was administered on the 7th day to animals in groups (2–5) 1 h after pretreatment. The animals were euthanized on day 10 for haematological, biochemical and histological analysis.


Cisplatin induced a significant increase in the serum levels of ALT, ALP, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen indicative of hepato-renal injury. More so, cisplatin caused marked increase in granulocyte, lymphocyte and platelets counts which were ameliorated by CC (100–400 mg/kg) treatment. In addition, cisplatin induced marked increase in MDA and nitrite levels coupled with deficits in glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase activities which were attenuated by CC administration. In vitro assay showed that CC scavenged DPPH and nitrite radicals (69.50 and 64.50 µg/mL, respectively). Total antioxidant capacity, phenolic and flavonoid contents are 24.27±0.09 mg QUE/g, 17.14±0.12 mg GAE/g and 10.20±0.09 mg QUE/g, respectively. CC preserved the liver and kidney histoarchitecture.


This study showed that C. colocynthis possesses hepatoprotective and nephroprotective actions possibly through enhancement of antioxidant defence system. Thus, it could be a potential adjuvant in cisplatin-based chemotherapy.


The authors are grateful to Mr. C. Micah of the Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, and Mr. S.A. Adenekan both in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria for their technical assistance.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Supplemental Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2017-6-7
Accepted: 2017-10-18
Published Online: 2017-12-13

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