Mollification of Lead Induced Liver Injury by Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) Extract

Rotimi Sunday Ajani *

Division of Gastrointestinal and Morphological Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

John Chinedu Obianke

Division of Gastrointestinal and Morphological Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Objective: Lead is a highly toxic, non-biodegradable heavy metal usually found in the environment largely as a pollutant of water, soil or air. Chronic lead exposure has adverse effects on human health. Lycopersicon esculentum has many phytochemicals that may ameliorate organ injury due to lead toxicity in humans. This study answered the question “Is aqueous extract of Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) beneficent to lead toxicity induced liver injury?”

Methodology: The study had five groups with fifteen animals each. The control was group CN. The lead toxicity group (PbT) had 30 mg/kg/day of lead acetate crystals, the concomitant extract group (CE) had concurrent administration of lead acetate and aqueous extract of L. esculentum (at 400 mg/kg). The post lead toxicity low dose extract. (PLE) had sequential administration of lead acetate and aq. extract L. esculentum (at 400 mg/kg). The post lead toxicity high dose extract. (PHE) had sequential administration of lead acetate and aq. extract L. esculentum (at 800 mg/kg). Both the lead acetate and extract were administered orally for twenty one days. At specific periods, blood samples were collected for biochemical analyses and organs harvested for histopathological evaluation.

Result: The total plasma protein levels of the extract groups (CE, PLE and PHE) were significantly higher than that of the PbT group. The PbT group had markedly elevated plasma liver enzymes. Oxidative stress was only evident in the PbT group but not in the extract groups as suggested by the significantly depressed anti-oxidant activities and elevated lipid peroxidation. A cystic lesion was observed in one of the liver specimens from the PbT group. Histopathological findings included fatty infiltration of the liver in the PbT group and presence of multinucleated hepatocytes in the extract groups. The latter feature suggested the ability of aqueous extract of L. esculentum to ameliorate the lead (Pb) toxicity induced liver damage.

Conclusion: Concurrent and post-exposure administration of aqueous extract of tomato fruit (L. esculentum) mollified the liver injury caused by lead toxicity.

Keywords: Hepatic lead toxicity, liver injury, Lycopersicon esculentum

How to Cite

Ajani, R. S., & Obianke, J. C. (2023). Mollification of Lead Induced Liver Injury by Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) Extract. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research, 24(1), 10–22.


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