PRENATAL EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY OF AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF ASPILIA AFRICANA ON PLACENTA OF ALBINO WISTAR RAT FOETUSES
Mokutima Amarachi Eluwa* PhD, Queen Ekemini Imossan BSc, Olaitan Ruth Asuquo PhD, Theresa Ekpenyong Isamoh MSc, Amabe Otoabasi Akpantah PhD and Theresa Bassey Ekanem PhD
Background: It has been estimated that over 80% of African population uses plant (herbs) regimen for treatment and control of disease due to it safety, availability, and effectiveness. In the present study, Aspilia africana one of the major herbs used by Nigerians to treat many ailments such as; wound healing, stoppage of bleeding, cough, gonorrhoea, feverish headache, stomach troubles was investigated. Objective: This study examined the prenatal exposure and toxicity of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia africana on the placenta of foetal wistar rats. Materials and methods: Twenty adult female rats weighing between 190 - 205g was divided into four groups labeled control, low dose, medium dose and high dose, with each consisting of five rats. Pregnancy was induced by caging the female rats with sexually matured males. The presence of vaginal plug and tail structures in the vaginal smear the following morning confirmed coitus and it was regarded as day 0 of pregnancy. Control group was given distilled water. Low dose group received 750mg/kg body weight of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia africana, medium dose and high dose groups received 1000mg/kg, and 1250mg/kg body weight of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia Africana respectively. The administration was done orally with the aid of orogastric tube on days 7-11 of gestation. On the day 20 of gestation, the rats were sacrificed and the placenta extracted, fixed in formal saline and process for histological studies. Result: Histological observations of the placenta showed hyperemia in the labyrinth interhemal membrane, proliferation of maternal sinusoids, hypertrophy of fetal capillary, apoptosis of spongiotrophoblasts, degeneration and necrosis of the trophoblast. These observations were more severe in sections from rats whose mother received 1250mg/kg of Aspilia africana. Conclusion: The result suggests that aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia africana may be teratogenic to the developing placenta of Wistar rats and is dose dependent.
Keywords: Apoptosis, Aspilia Africana, Interhemal membrane, Placenta, Foetus.
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