Afzal, the common smokeless tobacco product (STP) in Oman, is believed to contain toxins that may impair the function of some organs such as liver and kidney. An aqueous extract from Afzal was added to drinking water to be administrated orally to Wistar albino rats (n = 72) young and adult from both genders weighing between 60-80. g and 150-240. g respectively for 8 weeks. Animals were divided into three groups: control (distilled water instead of Afzal extract), low-dose (3. mg. nicotine/kg. body. weight/day) and high-dose (6. mg. nicotine/kg. body. weight/day). The animals were euthanized and their blood, liver and kidney were collected for biochemical and histopathological investigations. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were assayed for the liver function, while blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CRT) were assayed for the kidney function. The results showed a significant increase in the ALT, AST, BUN and CRT levels (P <. 0.05) in both Afzal-treated groups (low and high doses) compared with the control. Histopathological findings revealed the initial but seem to be serious degenerative alterations of periportal fibrosis in liver and edematous and calcified changes in renal glomerulus among Afzal-treated groups. Additionally, the weight gain of the Afzal-treated groups was lower than the control group. Our findings show that the exposure of Wistar rats to the Afzal extract has the potentials of causing decreased weight gain and dose-dependent functional and structural damage to the biochemical and histological profiles of liver and kidney as well as serious biochemical effects.
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