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Subchronic toxicity of herbal compound “Jiedu Huayu” granules in rats

BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201717:450

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1960-4

Received: 26 March 2017

Accepted: 31 August 2017

Published: 6 September 2017

Abstract

Background

“Jiedu Huayu” (JDHY) granules are traditional Chinese herbal compounds that have been used to treat severe liver injury for many years. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the safety of JDHY granules.

Methods

Subchronic toxicity was tested in male and female rats that were orally administered three different doses (80, 100, and 130 g/kg/d) of JDHY for 13 weeks. Clinical signs, bodyweight, food consumption, hematological and biochemical parameters, organ coefficients, and histological changes were observed during the study.

Results

There were no significant changes in toxicity observed in either sex at any dose of JDHY granules treatment.

Conclusions

These results suggest that repeated oral administration of JDHY granules at dosage levels of ≤130 g/kg/d can be considered safe.

Keywords

Subchronic toxicity Chinese herbal compounds “Jiedu Huayu” granules Rat

Background

Traditional Chinese herbal compounds have been widely used throughout history. They have been considered to be effective and have few side effects, particularly because of their natural origins [1]. The therapeutic effects of compounds depend on the components of each herb involved. In recent decades, the use of herbal compounds has rapidly increased. However, the safety of herbal compounds has been greatly debated [2].

“Jiedu Huayu” (JDHY) granules are traditional Chinese herbal compounds that are commonly used for the treatment of liver failure. These granules consist of six herbs: Artemisia capillaries, Radix paeoniae rubrathe, Rheum officinale, Oldenlandia diffusa, Radix curcumae, and Acorus gramineus. Previous clinical studies established that JDHY has hepato-protective effects in hepatitis B-related acute chronic liver failure patients, improved liver function, and reduced complications [3]. Moreover, animal experiments demonstrated that JDHY decreased the expression of Caspase-3 mRNA in a model of acute liver failure. This suggests that JDHY may be an effective therapy for treating hepatocyte-related apoptosis [4]. However, there is currently insufficient investigation into the toxicity of JDHY granules. In this study, we evaluate the toxicity and safety pharmacology of an oral administration of JDHY granules to rats for 13 weeks to assess an optimal dose for clinical use.

Methods

Experimental animals

Animal experiments were approved by The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Male and female Wistar rats weighing 100 g–120 g were purchased from the Animal Experimental Center of Guangxi Medical University (Nanning, China, License No. SCXK Gui 2009–0002). All rats were fed a Specific Pathogen-Free (SPF) diet.

Preparation of JDHY granules

“Jiedu Huayu” (JDHY) granules were prepared in our laboratory from six herbs (Table 1): 667 g of Artemisia capillaries, 1000 g of Radix paeoniae rubrathe, 333 g of Rheum officinale, 500 g of Oldenlandia diffusa, 333 g of Radix curcumae, and 333 g of Acorus gramineus. The Chinese herbs were purchased from The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The herbal mixture underwent combined decoction. It was extracted twice in distilled water at 100 °C for 2 h. Following filtration, the resulting mixture was concentrated to a cream with a relative density between 1.05–1.10 (70 °C). Next, 60% ethanol was added for 24 h, and following filtration, the resulting mixture was then concentrated to a cream with a relative density of 1.30–1.35 (80 °C). Dextrins were added to make the final weight 1000 g, and the equivalent dose was 3.2 g/g (total raw materials/ weight after concentration). Quality control was performed as previously reported [5]. Prior to usage, JDHY granules were configured into three concentrations (6.5 g/ml, 5.0 g/ml, and 4.0 g/ml) by distilled water.
Table 1

Composition of JDHY granules

Components

(Latin name)

Components

(English name)

Family

Artemisia capillaris Thunb

Capillary Wormwood Herb

Asteraceae

Paeonia veitchii Lynch

Radix paeoniae rubrathe

Ranunculaceae

Rheum palmatum L

Rheum officinale

Polygonaceae

Hedyotis diffusa Willd

Oldenlandia diffusa

Rubiaceae

Curcuma wenyujin Y.H. Chen et C.Ling

Radix Curcumae

Zingiberaceae

Acorus tatarinowii Schott

Acorus gramineus

Araceae

Experimental design

Forty-eight rats were randomized into four groups: control group (gavaged with distilled water,a low dose group (gavaged with JDHY granules 80 g/kg/d), a middle dose group (gavaged with JDHY granules 100 g/kg/d),and a high dose group (gavaged with JDHY granules 130 g/kg/d). Each experimental group consisted of 6 males and 6 females. Following an environmental adaptation period of 1 week, all rats were fed the SPF diet, and their initial weight was recorded. Rats were administered an amount of 20 ml/kg, which was adjusted once a week to accommodate changes in weight. Each group was gavaged for 6 days and rested for 1 day each week for a total duration of 13 weeks.

Clinical observation, bodyweight, and food consumption

Clinical signs were observed twice daily for all rats. Clinical signs included changes in fur, mucous membrane, eyes, physical activity, behavior, fecal excretion, and mortality. Bodyweight and food consumption were recorded once a week [6].

Hematology and serum biochemistry

Blood samples were collected and analyzed for white blood cell count (WBC), lymphocyte cell count (LYM), percentage of lymphocyte cell count (LYM%), reticulocyte cell count (RC), mononuclear cell count (MID), percentage of lymphocyte cell count (MID%), platelet count (PLT), granulocyte cell count (GRAN), percentage of granulocyte cell count (GRAN%), red blood cell count (RBC), hematocrit (HCT), corpuscular volume (MCV), concentration (HGB), hemoglobin (MCH), MCH concentration (MCHC). All samples were measured using automatic blood cell analyzer (mindray, China).

The following serum biochemistry parameters were also detected: aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), total bilirubin (TBIL), total cholesterol (CHOL), triglycerides (TG), glucose (GLU), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (Cr), creatine kinase (CK), sodium (Na), potassium (K), and chloride (Cl). All samples were measured using automatic biochemical analyzer (mindray, China).

Organ coefficient

We measured the absolute weight of heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, brain, thymus, renicapsule, testis (male), epididymis (male), uterus (female), and ovaries (female). Relative organ weight was calculated as a percentage of body weight [7].

Histopathology

At the conclusion of the experiment, all animals were sacrificed using ether anesthesia. Tissues and organs were harvested and preserved in 10% formalin solution. All samples were sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin [8]. We used a biological microscope and dp-20 digital imaging system (OLYMPUS, Japan) to conduct histopathological examination.

Statistical analysis

Spss 18.0 software was used for statistical analysis. Data are presented as means ± standard deviation. Data were analyzed by one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Student-Newman-Keuls test. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05 as compared to the control group.

Results

Clinical signs, food consumption, and body weight

We did not observe any death or adverse clinical signs in the JDHY groups during the 13-week experiment. There were no statistically significant changes observed in food consumption (Tables 2 and 3, Fig. 1a) and body weight (Table 4 and 5, Fig. 1b) between control and JDHF groups.
Table 2

Food consumption of male rats treated with JDHY granules from 1 to 13 weeks

Dose(g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Males

 1 week

7.32 ± 0.67a

7.34 ± 0.39

7.42 ± 0.53

7.56 ± 0.44

 2 week

7.65 ± 0.24

7.26 ± 0.48

7.42 ± 0.96

7.54 ± 0.86

 3 week

7.37 ± 0.50

7.71 ± 0.38

7.70 ± 0.27

7.64 ± 0.37

 4 week

7.43 ± 0.40

7.58 ± 0.20

7.33 ± 0.24

7.69 ± 0.18

 5 week

8.48 ± 0.77

8.07 ± 0.59

7.89 ± 0.57

8.65 ± 0.88

 6 week

8.91 ± 0.31

8.79 ± 0.40

8.63 ± 0.32

8.74 ± 0.26

 7 week

8.96 ± 0.11

9.03 ± 0.20

8.94 ± 0.18

9.14 ± 0.19

 8 week

9.00 ± 0.21

9.45 ± 0.20

9.02 ± 0.11

9.23 ± 0.34

 9 week

8.70 ± 0.17

8.91 ± 0.16

8.90 ± 0.21

8.92 ± 0.19

 10 week

8.75 ± 0.27

9.06 ± 0.27

9.02 ± 0.27

9.07 ± 0.24

 11 week

8.99 ± 0.15

9.19 ± 0.18

9.13 ± 0.25

9.15 ± 0.24

 12 week

8.83 ± 0.10

8.89 ± 0.21

8.92 ± 0.15

8.97 ± 0.13

 13 week

8.94 ± 0.19

8.94 ± 0.11

9.03 ± 0.12

8.97 ± 0.12

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 3

Food consumption of Female rats treated with JDHY granules from 1 to 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Females

 1 week

6.34 ± 0.26a

6.53 ± 0.17

6.79 ± 0.57

6.14 ± 0.62

 2 week

6.95 ± 0.36

6.68 ± 0.41

6.94 ± 0.46

6.76 ± 0.49

 3 week

6.77 ± 0.42

6.84 ± 0.58

7.32 ± 0.84

6.78 ± 0.49

 4 week

7.64 ± 0.46

7.26 ± 0.30

7.57 ± 0.41

7.26 ± 0.20

 5 week

8.37 ± 0.65

8.10 ± 0.51

7.73 ± 0.46

7.86 ± 0.51

 6 week

8.59 ± 0.42

8.17 ± 0.42

8.21 ± 0.24

8.17 ± 0.61

 7 week

8.43 ± 0.41

8.49 ± 0.41

8.21 ± 0.53

8.34 ± 0.31

 8 week

8.52 ± 0.35

8.23 ± 0.20

8.72 ± 0.25

8.09 ± 0.37

 9 week

8.55 ± 0.38

8.45 ± 0.38

8.63 ± 0.21

8.19 ± 0.20

 10 week

8.58 ± 0.18

8.60 ± 0.19

8.45 ± 0.16

8.50 ± 0.16

 11 week

8.31 ± 0.23

8.64 ± 0.32

8.32 ± 0.33

8.12 ± 0.16

 12 week

8.58 ± 0.22

8.48 ± 0.24

8.36 ± 0.35

8.41 ± 0.08

 13 week

8.48 ± 0.17

8.30 ± 0.13

8.59 ± 0.36

8.38 ± 0.35

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Fig. 1

JDHF treatment does not alter food consumption or body weight. Wistar rats were treated with or without JDHF for 13 weeks. Food consumption (a) and body weight (b) were measured. Significance is indicated as P > 0.05

Table 4

Increase in body weight for male rats treated with JDHY granules from 1 to 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Males

 0 week

122.3 ± 6.47a

122.2 ± 7.39

122.1 ± 7.24

118.7 ± 5.92

 1 week

19.2 ± 5.10

17.6 ± 3.83

18.2 ± 4.81

19.8 ± 5.97

 2 week

37.7 ± 8.65

37.7 ± 5.75

36.8 ± 8.30

39.3 ± 9.63

 3 week

55.7 ± 9.00

56.3 ± 4.95

54.9 ± 7.97

55.9 ± 8.22

 4 week

77.4 ± 9.50

77.1 ± 8.50

77.2 ± 12.31

77.6 ± 10.68

 5 week

98.4 ± 11.56

96.4 ± 7.670

100.5 ± 10.74

98.9 ± 11.13

 6 week

115.1 ± 15.83

114.4 ± 8.47

116.9 ± 15.10

115.1 ± 13.71

 7 week

130.7 ± 15.61

119.9 ± 25.50

130.9 ± 15.41

128.1 ± 12.65

 8 week

150.9 ± 19.60

144.5 ± 13.73

142.3 ± 24.12

147.4 ± 14.82

 9 week

164.0 ± 17.64

158.1 ± 12.94

156.1 ± 23.93

160.9 ± 14.76

 10 week

180.2 ± 15.36

173.9 ± 12.50

173.7 ± 22.06

178.8 ± 11.27

 11 week

197.5 ± 14.54

189.3 ± 12.35

190.0 ± 22.71

196.5 ± 11.65

 12 week

214.1 ± 16.34

203.2 ± 14.56

206.7 ± 22.71

207.3 ± 26.31

 13 week

228.7 ± 16.53

217.3 ± 17.04

218.2 ± 21.72

228.2 ± 16.99

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 5

Increase in body weight for female rats treated with JDHY granules from 1 to 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Females

 0 week

109.0 ± 5.59a

109.7 ± 7.70

110.3 ± 6.37

109.5 ± 6.12

 1 week

19.5 ± 6.50

18.3 ± 4.93

15.8 ± 4.23

19.2 ± 5.06

 2 week

38.7 ± 10.08

37.1 ± 7.84

34.7 ± 5.75

35.9 ± 7.75

 3 week

54.9 ± 7.06

56.3 ± 6.63

54.1 ± 4.17

54.5 ± 8.63

 4 week

75.4 ± 11.27

76.7 ± 11.98

75.3 ± 7.060

75.5 ± 11.17

 5 week

95.0 ± 11.59

99.5 ± 10.85

94.2 ± 4.620

95.4 ± 13.66

 6 week

113.1 ± 13.39

117.0 ± 13.33

113.5 ± 6.20

113.7 ± 16.78

 7 week

125.9 ± 11.27

130.5 ± 14.74

118.2 ± 24.31

121.4 ± 26.69

 8 week

144.1 ± 14.37

141.7 ± 24.10

142.4 ± 11.54

147.7 ± 20.69

 9 week

157.6 ± 14.26

156.2 ± 23.75

157.1 ± 11.43

159.8 ± 20.17

 10 week

174.7 ± 12.64

173.1 ± 21.59

173.0 ± 12.72

176.8 ± 20.38

 11 week

192.4 ± 13.75

188.7 ± 22.59

188.5 ± 12.97

193.9 ± 19.52

 12 week

202.1 ± 26.58

204.5 ± 21.15

201.2 ± 15.43

204.6 ± 29.79

 13 week

221.7 ± 19.64

216.2 ± 23.10

215.1 ± 16.52

225.2 ± 20.75

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Hematology and serum chemistry

The results of the hematological detection and serum chemistry examination are shown in Tables 6, 7, 8, and 9. There were no statistically significant changes in hematological detection and serum chemistry examination between the control and JDHY groups in male or female rats.
Table 6

Hematological data for male rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks of treatment

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Males

 WBC(109/L)

7.91 ± 1.89a

7.65 ± 1.55

8.42 ± 1.74

8.03 ± 1.57

 LYM(109/L)

3.29 ± 1.13

3.77 ± 0.97

4.35 ± 1.98

4.20 ± 1.97

 LYM%(%)

42.85 ± 13.78

49.99 ± 11.63

50.28 ± 19.21

50.44 ± 18.91

 RC(%)

18.60 ± 3.27

18.50 ± 2.22

18.90 ± 3.21

18.30 ± 3.94

 MID(109/L)

0.92 ± 0.39

1.15 ± 0.34

1.29 ± 0.42

1.19 ± 0.44

 MID(%)

11.36 ± 3.70

15.27 ± 4.89

15.83 ± 6.01

14.58 ± 4.58

 PLT(109/L)

513.40 ± 103.78

505.50 ± 135.51

491.00 ± 131.84

507.00 ± 115.41

 GRAN(109/L)

3.70 ± 1.58

2.73 ± 1.34

2.78 ± 1.12

2.64 ± 1.54

 GRAN(%)

45.79 ± 13.22

34.74 ± 11.55

33.89 ± 14.58

34.98 ± 21.28

 RBC(1012/L)

5.73 ± 1.63

6.06 ± 1.84

6.37 ± 1.46

6.31 ± 1.71

 HCT(%)

42.45 ± 12.07

39.58 ± 15.08

45.74 ± 10.67

43.04 ± 15.63

 MCV(fl)

66.76 ± 10.64

67.33 ± 7.83

67.91 ± 10.39

69.79 ± 8.39

 HGB(g/L)

128.90 ± 24.14

131.20 ± 25.37

133.20 ± 23.90

126.70 ± 23.37

 MCH(pg)

18.13 ± 1.77

18.79 ± 1.76

18.12 ± 1.09

18.48 ± 1.57

 MCHC(g/L)

274.70 ± 9.35

280.00 ± 9.58

279.70 ± 9.31

282.70 ± 9.88

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 7

Hematological data for female rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks of treatment

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Females

 WBC(109/L)

7.91 ± 1.89a

8.94 ± 1.25

7.44 ± 2.08

8.37 ± 2.10

 LYM(109/L)

3.42 ± 1.29

4.05 ± 0.97

3.58 ± 1.36

4.11 ± 1.44

 LYM%(%)

46.59 ± 13.74

46.04 ± 11.71

47.17 ± 12.50

47.89 ± 11.92

 RC(%)

16.40 ± 2.06

16.30 ± 2.11

16.80 ± 2.34

16.90 ± 2.07

 MID(109/L)

1.31 ± 0.61

1.27 ± 0.313

1.12 ± 0.24

1.36 ± 0.31

 MID(%)

17.61 ± 5.48

14.19 ± 2.90

15.82 ± 4.41

16.73 ± 4.04

 PLT(109/L)

493.00 ± 122.40

517.30 ± 169.72

511.00 ± 180.39

514.10 ± 130.51

 GRAN(109/L)

2.69 ± 1.18

3.62 ± 1.45

2.74 ± 1.08

2.90 ± 0.90

 GRAN(%)

35.80 ± 11.97

39.76 ± 11.84

37.01 ± 10.72

35.39 ± 10.62

 RBC(1012/L)

5.55 ± 1.70

5.92 ± 1.79

5.77 ± 1.37

6.01 ± 1.28

 HCT(%)

44.45 ± 12.36

43.62 ± 12.95

44.01 ± 13.52

59.29 ± 12.65

 MCV(fl)

60.27 ± 10.80

64.38 ± 13.58

65.98 ± 13.23

69.79 ± 8.39

 HGB(g/L)

132.10 ± 32.01

131.50 ± 23.08

135.50 ± 23.33

134.20 ± 28.76

 MCH(pg)

18.70 ± 1.78

18.74 ± 1.44

18.50 ± 1.71

18.38 ± 1.23

 MCHC(g/L)

280.20 ± 9.61

276.00 ± 8.61

274.20 ± 8.06

277.50 ± 6.46

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 8

Clinical chemistry data for male rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Males

 AST(U/L)

217.31 ± 45.65

220.68 ± 66.49

219.30 ± 86.66

196.71 ± 77.69

 ALT(U/L)

61.57 ± 9.09a

61.62 ± 10.59

56.86 ± 10.71

58.01 ± 12.24

 ALP(U/L)

221.68 ± 88.98

239.23 ± 64.49

242.42 ± 81.93

266.23 ± 82.01

 TP(g/L)

85.04 ± 4.67

82.7 ± 06.51

80.61 ± 6.84

86.03 ± 5.78

 ALB(g/L)

42.04 ± 4.63

41.80 ± 4.78

40.84 ± 5.50

38.76 ± 5.31

 TBIL(umol/L)

7.98 ± 2.34

8.30 ± 2.54

7.91 ± 2.30

7.86 ± 3.32

 CHOL(mmol/L)

1.42 ± 0.45

1.64 ± 0.49

1.44 ± 0.46

1.53 ± 0.33

 TG(mmol/L)

0.33 ± 0.11

0.35 ± 0.11

0.36 ± 0.08

0.38 ± 0.08

 GLU(mmol/L)

7.06 ± 0.97

7.43 ± 0.74

7.33 ± 0.71

7.65 ± 0.91

 BUN(mmol/L)

6.80 ± 1.11

6.78 ± 1.64

6.46 ± 1.41

6.47 ± 1.61

 Cr(umol/L)

97.32 ± 15.24

97.65 ± 15.57

99.23 ± 15.67

98.54 ± 13.81

 CK(U/L)

155.05 ± 25.48

147.16 ± 23.52

153.79 ± 26.00

150.48 ± 24.85

 Na+(mmol/L)

150.29 ± 17.72

143.53 ± 15.43

141.36 ± 18.28

145.52 ± 21.69

 K+(mmol/L)

4.59 ± 0.93

5.07 ± 1.31

4.96 ± 1.07

5.01 ± 0.84

 Cl(mmol/)

110.30 ± 6.30

105.50 ± 7.89

105.40 ± 6.93

108.00 ± 7.07

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 9

Clinical chemistry data for female rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Females

 AST(U/L)

208.34 ± 47.04a

212.76 ± 79.64

217.31 ± 70.60

212.25 ± 89.47

 ALT(U/L)

60.57 ± 10.31

60.10 ± 11.25

58.33 ± 11.02

61.53 ± 11.47

 ALP(U/L)

237.88 ± 86.37

238.82 ± 78.02

227.31 ± 66.74

232.38 ± 85.91

 TP(g/L)

84.12 ± 4.34

83.25 ± 8.49

80.47 ± 6.27

81.14 ± 5.41

 ALB(g/L)

41.94 ± 5.24

42.61 ± 4.70

41.98 ± 5.82

41.43 ± 6.42

 TBIL(umol/L)

8.23 ± 2.46

6.80 ± 2.88

8.59 ± 2.99

9.63 ± 3.09

 CHOL(mmol/L)

1.49 ± 0.52

1.61 ± 0.49

1.58 ± 0.52

1.54 ± 0.37

 TG(mmol/L)

0.32 ± 0.07

0.36 ± 0.11

0.37 ± 0.09

0.35 ± 0.07

 GLU(mmol/L)

7.35 ± 0.72

7.20 ± 0.64

7.42 ± 0.61

7.57 ± 0.92

 BUN(mmol/L)

6.51 ± 1.34

6.24 ± 1.36

6.35 ± 1.58

6.44 ± 1.18

 Cr(umol/L)

98.63 ± 11.70

95.38 ± 15.75

96.72 ± 12.43

97.71 ± 12.70

 CK(U/L)

155.77 ± 28.07

150.13 ± 26.80

149.74 ± 26.82

144.18 ± 28.09

 Na+(mmol/L)

145.14 ± 17.59

148.75 ± 13.95

146.38 ± 11.86

144.94 ± 19.28

 K+(mmol/L)

4.81 ± 0.92

5.34 ± 0.90

5.23 ± 1.12

4.93 ± 1.03

 Cl(mmol/L)

108.20 ± 5.95

105.80 ± 8.25

106.10 ± 8.55

107.30 ± 9.20

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Organ coefficient

As shown in Tables 10 and 11, JDHY groups did not generate any statistically significant changes in organ coefficients in either male or female rats when compared with the control group.
Table 10

Organ coefficient for male rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Males

 Heart

0.38 ± 0.051a

0.36 ± 0.051

0.36 ± 0.04

0.37 ± 0.06

 Liver

3.44 ± 0.26

3.75 ± 0.57

3.51 ± 0.63

3.40 ± 0.53

 Spleen

0.22 ± 0.05

0.25 ± 0.03

0.34 ± 0.03

0.22 ± 0.04

 Lung

0.68 ± 0.14

0.62 ± 0.05

0.70 ± 0.05

0.71 ± 0.11

 Kidney

0.62 ± 0.14

0.66 ± 0.06

0.71 ± 0.07

0.70 ± 0.10

 Brain

0.48 ± 0.09

0.56 ± 0.09

0.52 ± 0.08

0.49 ± 0.09

 Thymus

0.10 ± 0.04

0.09 ± 0.02

0.10 ± 0.03

0.10 ± 0.03

 Renicapsule

0.02 ± 0.02

0.02 ± 0.01

0.02 ± 0.01

0.01 ± 0.03

 Orchis

0.51 ± 0.16

0.49 ± 0.20

0.41 ± 0.14

0.49 ± 0.14

 Epididymis

0.20 ± 0.09

0.27 ± 0.07

0.26 ± 0.05

0.24 ± 0.09

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Table 11

Organ coefficient for female rats treated with JDHY granules for 13 weeks

Dose (g/kg/d)

0

80

100

130

Females

 Heart

0.31 ± 0.03a

0.28 ± 0.03

0.27 ± 0.04

0.33 ± 0.09

 Liver

3.27 ± 0.44

3.27 ± 0.45

3.18 ± 0.67

3.26 ± 0.38

 Spleen

0.30 ± 0.12

0.34 ± 0.11

0.35 ± 0.12

0.35 ± 0.11

 Lung

0.55 ± 0.11

0.61 ± 0.26

0.63 ± 0.28

0.73 ± 0.37

 Kidney

0.61 ± 0.08

0.64 ± 0.08

0.64 ± 0.08

0.60 ± 0.07

 Brain

0.51 ± 0.07

0.47 ± 0.04

0.53 ± 0.09

0.45 ± 0.07

 Thymus

0.17 ± 0.08

0.22 ± 0.06

0.22 ± 0.08

0.18 ± 0.11

 Renicapsule

0.02 ± 0.006

0.02 ± 0.004

0.02 ± 0.005

0.02 ± 0.006

 Uterus

0.23 ± 0.06

0.24 ± 0.03

0.25 ± 0.12

0.21 ± 0.05

 Oarium

0.06 ± 0.01

0.07 ± 0.02

0.05 ± 0.01

0.06 ± 0.02

All samples were collected from five rats in each group

aData are given as mean ± SD

ANOVA analysis indicated no statistical significance P > 0.05

Histopathology

Following a 13-week treatment with JDHY granules, there were no treatment-related changes in histopathology detected between the control and JDHY groups. In fact, histopathological analysis of liver, lung, and kidney showed normal structure in all groups (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2

JDHF treatment maintains normal structure of liver, lung, and kidney. Representative images of H&E-stained sections of liver (a), lung (b), and kidney (c) from Wistar rats treated with or without JDHF are shown. Images were taken at a magnification of 400×

Discussion

Changes in food consumption and body weight are considered to be an indicator of organ toxicity [9]. In our 13-week study, we observed no deaths or abnormal behavior performance in all groups. While increases in food consumption and body weight were observed for all groups, there were no statistically significant differences between those given different doses of JDHF and the control group. Therefore, different doses of JDHY granules below or equal to 130 g/kg/d had no side effects on growth in male or female rats.

The circulatory system is essential for body function. Such functions include providing nutrients to different organs and carrying cytokine factors for immune reaction. Thus, the circulatory system is sensitive to toxicity of drugs [8]. In this study, we did not observe any statistically significant hematological differences between the JDHF groups and the control group. Levels of WBC, PLT, and HGB were in the normal range. Serum ALT, AST, BUN, and Cr can reflect liver and kidney function and are markers of liver and kidney damage [10, 11]. There were no statistically significant differences in these serum parameter levels between the JDHF groups and the control group. Thus, JDHY granules did not have a damaging effect on liver and kidney function.

Organ coefficients can provide direct evidence for pathological changes and can indicate organs influenced by drugs. In our study, analysis of organ weights resulted in no statistically significant changes between the JDHF groups and the control group. Furthermore, we used histopathological analysis to determine any pathological changes in liver, kidney, or lung because these organs play a significant role in the accumulation of drugs. We observed no histopathological malignancies in liver, kidney, and lung at a high dose of JDHY group. These results indicate that JDHY granules have no chronic toxicity for critical organs.

Conclusion

Oral administration of JDHY granules to rats for 13 weeks did not have adverse side effects in both male and female rats of a dose up to 130 g/kg/d. Thus, no toxic effects were produced from treatment with JDHY granules.

Abbreviations

ALB: 

Albumin

ALP: 

Alkaline phosphatase

ALT: 

Alanine aminotransferase

AST: 

Aspartate aminotransferase

BUN: 

Blood urea nitrogen

CHOL: 

Total cholesterol

CK: 

Creatine kinase

Cl: 

Chloride

Cr: 

Creatinine

GLU: 

Glucose

GRAN: 

Granulocyte cell count

GRAN%: 

Percentage of granulocyte cell count

HCT: 

Hematocrit

HGB: 

Concentration

JDHY: 

Jiedu Huayu granules

K: 

Potassium

LYM: 

Lymphocyte cell count

LYM%: 

Percentage of lymphocyte cell count

MCH: 

Hemoglobin

MCHC: 

MCH concentration

MCV: 

Corpuscular volume

MID: 

Mononuclear cell count

MID%: 

Percentage of lymphocyte cell count

Na: 

Sodium

PLT: 

Platelet count

RBC: 

Red blood cell count

RC: 

Reticulocyte cell count

TBIL: 

Total bilirubin

TG: 

Triglycerides

TP: 

Total protein

WBC: 

White blood cell count

Declarations

Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81260534, 81460718) and the high level innovation team of Guangxi Province.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Authors’ contributions

DM developed and provided JDHY granules. MW, RZ and HQ carried out the experiments. DM and FL designed and conceived the study. MW wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval

Animal experiments were approved by The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that no competing of interests.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Liver Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

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