Introduction: Mucuna pruriens (velvet beans) is an unconventional legume commonly found in the tropical regions of Africa with several ethnomedicinal uses. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of aqueous extract of Mucuna pruriens leaves in rats intoxicated with lead acetate. Method: Thirty rats were divided into six groups (five rats per group). Group I (control group) was given distilled water only, group II was intoxicated with lead acetate (100 mg/kg) only, group III was administered M. pruriens extract (600 mg/kg) only daily for a period of 28 days, while groups IV, V and VI animals were co -administered M. pruriens extractat at different concentrations of 300, 600 and 1200 mg/kg body weight daily for 28 days. After 28 days of experiment, the animals were euthanized. Blood samples were collected for some biochemical parameters and organs harvested for histology.

Results: The results showed that there were no significant differences between bilirubin, total protein, albumin and globulin in test and control animals, but significant increase (P˂0.05) in ALT after 28 days of intoxication with lead acetate when compared with the control. However there was no significant difference in ALP activities. Administration of aqueous extract of M. pruriens leaves at a dose of 600 mg/kg body weight for 28 days showed a significant increase (P˂0.05) in direct bilirubin, total protein, albumin, globulin, AST and ALT, but significantly reduced ALP activities. Administration of the crude aqueous extract (300, 600 and 1200 mg/kg), did not show any ameliorating effect after 28 days when compared to rats intoxicated with lead acetate, but showed mild reduction in ALP activities with no significant changes in ALT and AST activities .

Conclusion: Mucuna pruriens extract possess ameliorative effect in rats intoxicated with lead acetate.

Keywords: Mucuna pruriens, lead acetate, histopathology