keywords: Basella alba, Crassocephalum crepidioides, Launaea taraxacifolia, Senecio biafrae, Solanum nigrum, wild vegetables, myocardial infarction
The heart is susceptible to many chronic diseases including myocardial infarction (MI). This study assessed the cardio-protective potential of five wild vegetables: Basella alba, Crassocephalum crepidioides, Launaea taraxacifolia, Senecio biafrae, and Solanum nigrum in MI rat model, thus revealing its biochemical activities in vivo. Nourished animals (84) were randomized into 14 groups (n=6 rats per group). Groups 2 to 6 and groups 9 to 13 orally received 200 mg kg -1 bw of each vegetable’s aqueous extract while groups 7 and 14 received equal ratio of extracts combination. Groups 1 and 8 served as normal and isoproterenol (ISO) control respectively. Only groups 9 to 14 were subcutaneously administered ISO (20 mg kg- 1 bw) on days 29 and 30 after 28 days extracts pre-treatment. Antioxidants, haematology and lipid markers were assessed while excised hearts were histologically examined. Oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) with least significance difference (LSD) tests were used to analyse data statistically (p<0.05). ISO control (group 8) significantly (p<0.05) decreased blood indices, antioxidants, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL), lipid peroxidation with myocardial aberrations as opposed to vegetables pre-treated groups. All the groups pre-treated with vegetables (singly and combination) prevented MI with increase in blood parameters, antioxidants, HDL and decreased LDL, lipid peroxidation as well as normal and lesser degree of myocardia distortion in histological examination. Induction of MI by ISO and the protective effects of the vegetables’ extracts on cardiac functions via mechanism(s) involving oxidative stress reduction and improvement of blood lipid profile were confirmed from the study.