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*S. Sankaravadivu, R. Jothibai Margret and V. K. Meenakshi


Hundreds of secondary metabolites have been derived from marine organisms in the search for new drugs. Screening for toxicity is a prerequisite and preliminary step before evaluating pharmacological activities. The aim of the present study is to assess acute and sub chronic oral toxicity of the ethanolic extract of colonial ascidian Ecteinascidia venui Meenakshi, 2000 on male wistar albino rats. Standard guidelines of OECD were adopted for 24 hours acute oral toxicity study. Subchronic oral toxicity assessment was done by administering different doses of 100, 500, 1000, 2000 mg/kg bw of ethanolic extract daily for fourteen days. Changes in gross behaviour – irritability, tremor, laboured breathing, staggering and convulsion was noted. The animals were sacrificed to evaluate the hepatic, renal function and hematological parameters. Acute oral toxicity study for a period of 24 hours did not show any mortality upto a dose of 2000 mg/kg bw. A dose of 1000mg/kg bw and above induced behavioural changes of morbidity but did not produce any lethal effect. The serum biochemical parameters of hepatic and renal function tests indicated only marginal changes. The alteration noticed in the hematological parameters was also within normal limits substantiating the non toxic nature of the extract. The results of study suggest that there is no obvious toxicity on treatment with the ethanolic extract of Ecteinascidia venui.

Keywords: Colonial ascidian, Ecteinascidia venui, Toxicity.

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