Developmental and reproductive outcome of F1 generation of Wistar rats exposed to Acanthus montanus aqueous extract during organogenesis
Acanthus montanus (Acanthaceae) leaves aqueous extract (AMAE) is used against threatened abortion and pain, thus, its potential adverse effects on pregnancy and postnatal development of F1 generation rats needed investigation. Pregnant Wistar rats (170–210g) received by gavage, graded doses of AMAE (0, 62.5, 125, 500 and 1000mg/kg/day) from days 6–15 of gestation. Earlier, we have studied the effect of its Methanol/Methylene Chloride extract on pregnant rats . Daily maternal behavioural changes, body weights, food and water intakes were noted. On delivery, the progeny were evaluated at birth through lactation to weaning for changes in litter size, mortality, fetal body weight, crump-rump and tail lengths, developmental landmarks, behavioural functions, food and water consumptions, pups reproductive capacities, external, visceral and skeletal malformations. One-way ANOVA and Dunnett's multicomparison post-test at P<0.05 were used. Maternal weight loss was absent and unaccompanied with toxicity, food and water intake changes. Litter size and sex ratio were unaffected. Fetal body weights, crown-rump and tail lengths, food and not water consumptions were dose independently decreased. Reduced survival and lactation indices, delayed eye openings, limb deformations, inflamed eyes and hair loss occurred with impairment of some behavioural function tests. Necropsy findings revealed reduced skin and organ fats. No skeletal anomaly was encountered. All exposed offsprings were infertile. AMAE is a developmental toxicant, thus, its use in the first three months of pregnancy should be avoided.
Acknowledgement: This research was supported by the International Foundation for Science, Stockholm, Sweden and United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo, Japan, through a grant to Dr Emmanuel Acha ASONGALEM.
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