Peripheral platelet destruction is well documented in diseases like Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. The use of Euphorbia hirta has been reported to affect the hematological system. This research aims to determine the effect of Euphorbia hirta on platelet function and morphology, as well as other parameters of hemostasis, such as bleeding time and clotting time.
A crude extract was prepared by decoction and was lyophilized. Eighteen female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups (A, B and C). Peripheral platelet destruction was induced by subcutaneous administration of 1 unit heparin per gram of body weight. Group A were treated with 100 mg/kg E. hirta decoction by oral gavage for 7 days. The remaining groups (B, and C) served as time and vehicle controls respectively. Platelet response, platelet count, bleeding time, and clotting time were assessed at baseline, and after induction, 7 days after their assigned treatment. Arachidonic acid response, and ADP response were measured using mutiple electrode aggregometry (MEA). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to visualize changes in platelet morphology. To compare results, data were subjected to statistical analysis using One-way ANOVA and Tukey HSD post-hoc analysis. Results showed there was a 20% increase in the platelet count, a 58.7% decrease in bleeding time, and an increase in clotting time throughout E. hirta administration. MEA shows that E. hirta significantly increases platelet response to arachidonic acid.
This present work revealed that the E. hirta decoction possesses platelet-increasing property by being able to reverse the platelet destruction caused by heparin. Also, aggregometry results show that this phenomenon may be associated with the effect of E. hirta on arachidonic acid-induced aggregation.
Keywords: whole blood impedance aggregometry; scanning electron microscopy; Euphorbia hirta.