In the field conditions, animals regularly consume small quantities of lantana leaves either while grazing or due to mixing with regular fodder. The hypothesis of this study was that consumption of lantana toxins over a long period of time leads to progression of sub-clinical disease. Toxicopathological effects of sub-chronic (90 days) administration of lantadenes of L. camara were investigated in guinea pigs. For this, a total of 40 animals were divided into 5 groups whereby groups I, II, III and IV were orally administered lantadenes, daily at the dose of 24, 18, 12, and 6 mg/kg bw, respectively while group V was control. The animals were evaluated by weekly body weight changes, haematology, serum liver and kidney markers, tissue oxidative markers and histopathology.
The results of significant decrease in weekly body weights, haematology, liver and kidney marker enzymes (alanine aminotransaminase, aspartate aminotransaminase, acid phosphatase and creatinine), oxidation stress markers (lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase) in liver and kidneys, histopathology, and confirmation of fibrous collagenous tissue proliferation by Masson's Trichome stain showed that lantadenes led to a dose-dependent toxicity in decreasing order with the highest dose (24 mg/kg bw) producing maximum lesions and the lowest dose (6 mg/kg bw) producing minimum alterations.
The study revealed that lantadenes which are considered to be classical hepatotoxicants in acute toxicity produced pronounced nephrotoxicity during sub-chronic exposure. Further studies are needed to quantify the levels of lantadenes in blood or serum of animals exposed to lantana in field conditions which would help to assess the extent of damage to the vital organs.