TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF METHANOL SEED EXTRACT OF HUNTERIA UMBELLATA ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTIONS OF TREATED WISTAR RATS
Ethnomedicinal survey have shown that the different parts of Hunteria umbellata plant are used in Western and Southern parts of Nigeria in managing various human diseases such as sexually transmitted infections and to induce or augment labor. This is however, without information on its effect on reproductive functions. This study was therefore designed to ascertain if there is any health benefit or risk in the ingestion of Hunteria umbellata on reproductive functions. In this study, qualitative phytochemistry, acute toxicity test and the sub-chronic toxicity effects of 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day of Hunteria umbellata (HU) methanol seed extract on reproductive functions in male and female Wistar rats were investigated for 90 days. To achieve this, effect of repeated doses of methanolic extracts of Hunteria umbellata seed were investigated on selected reproductive parameters of the test animals. Eighty (80) (40 male and 40 female) Wister rats, were randomly divided into 4 groups of 10 rats each. The first group received 10 ml/kg/day of distilled water and served as the control, while the second, third and fourth groups received 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg/day of the extract for 90 days respectively. Blood samples were collected by retro-orbital puncture and delivered into plain tubes for hormonal assay, using ELISA hormone test kits (Biotec Laboratories Ltd, UK). After 90 days, the rats were anesthetized using chloroform. The histology of the testes and ovaries were also carried out. Result revealed that the prolonged treatment with methanol seed extracts of Hunteria umbellata for 90 days, caused minimal decreases (p>0.05) in testosterone, estrogen, progesterone level in all the extract treated groups as compared with the control group. Also, no significant distortions were observed in the histology of testes and ovaries. The results suggests that the prolonged oral treatment with 250-1000 mg/kg/day of the methanol extract of the seed of Hunteria umbellata did not have any effect on the reproductive functions as well as the reproductive organs in males and females’ rats treated, and could be safe following repeated use.
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