Author(s): Okolie Ngozi Paulinus* and Uanseoje Sylvester Obaika
The study was aimed at comparing the toxic effects of cassava-borne organic cyanide and equivalent level of inorganic cyanide (KCN) in New Zealand White rabbits. Three groups of 3-month old, male weanling rabbits (4 per group) were used. One group received pure growers mash (control), while another was fed isonitrogenous cassava peel flour, CPF containing 702 ppm organic cyanide. A third group was given mash with 702 ppm KCN (inorganic cyanide). Feed intake, body weight gain, and serum SCN-were recorded. The animals were fed for 10 weeks prior to sacrifice and isolation of tissues for assays of rhodanese, LDH, ALT, AST and serum urea and creatinine. Feed intake and weight gain were significantly lower in CPF group than in KCN group, but LDH activities in serum, liver, and lung were significantly higher in the CPF group (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the tissue and serum levels of AST and ALT between both groups. In addition, serum urea and creatinine did not differ significantly between the CPF and KCN groups. However liver and kidney rhodanese activities and urinary thiocyanate were significantly higher in the KCN group (p < 0.05). More pronounced pathological lesions (tubular and glomerular necrosis) were evident in the kidney from the CPF group, while liver lesions (congestion, necrosis and inflammatory reactions) were more severe in the KCN group. These results suggest that although the metabolic effects of cassava-borne organic cyanide and inorganic cyanide resemble, the severity of their tissue toxicities may differ.