TERATOGENIC EFFECT OF AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF ASPILIA AFRICANA ON FRONTAL CORTEX OF ALBINO WISTAR RATS
Eluwa Mokutima Amarachi*, Anyam Gerrard Teryil, Asuquo Olaitan Ruth, Isamoh Theresa Ekpenyong, Udonkang Mfoniso Iniobong and Ekanem Theresa Bassey
Aspilia Africana is one of the major herbs being used by many Nigerians to treat many ailment such as; wound healing, stoppage of bleeding, cough, gonorrhoea, feverish headache, stomach troubles and also help in easy delivery and lactation. This study was to examine the teratogenicity of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia Africana on frontal cortex of foetal wistar rats. Twenty adult female rats weighing between 190 - 205g were used for this study. The rats were divided into four groups labelled 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 was regarded as day zero (0) of pregnancy. Control group was given distilled water. Low dose, medium dose and high dose groups received 750mg, 1000mg and 1250mg of aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia Africana per kilogram body weight orally with the aid of orogastric tube respectively on days 7-11 of gestation. On the day 20 of gestation, the rats were sacrificed and the foetal brain was fixed in formal saline and later processed for histological studies. Histological observations of the frontal cortex showed hyperplasia and hypertrophy especially in the subventricular and ventricular layers of the low dose. Distortion of cortical, intermediate and subventricular layers of the medium dose group; and complete distortion of the layers of the frontal cortex in the high dose group characterised by numerous vacuolations and cellular degenerations. Blood vessels appeared tiny and almost absent in all the treated groups. The result suggest that aqueous leaf extract of Aspilia Africana may be teratogenic to the developing frontal cortex of wistar rats and is dose dependent.
Keywords: Teratogenicity, Aspilia africana, aqueous extract, frontal cortex, foetuses.
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