Histological Studies Of The Teratogenic Effects Of Oral Administration Of Aspilia Africana (Asteraceae) Leaf Extract On The Developing Kidney Of Wistar Rats
aspilia africana, cyto-architecture, degenerative and atrophic changes, histological effect, kidney and wistar rats
A Eweka. Histological Studies Of The Teratogenic Effects Of Oral Administration Of Aspilia Africana (Asteraceae) Leaf Extract On The Developing Kidney Of Wistar Rats. The Internet Journal of Toxicology. 2007 Volume 4 Number 2.
Histological studies of the teratogenic effects of oral administration of extract of Aspilia africana, used in ethno medical practice in Africa for the management of various ailments, on the developing kidneys of pregnant matured female Wistar rats were studied. The rats (n=24), average weight of 180g were randomly assigned into two treatment (n=16) and a control (n=8) group. The rats in the treatment groups received 0.5g/kg and 1g/kg of aqueous extract of Aspilia africana orally through orogastric tube in the first seven days of gestation, while the control rats received equal volume of distilled water without the extract of Aspilia added. The rats were fed with growers' mash and were given water liberally. After parturition, the kidney sections were obtained from the pups or neonates and processed for routine histological investigation.
Histological changes observed in the kidney sections revealed loss of renal corpuscle and varying degree of cyto-architectural distortion of the cortical structures, with degenerative and atrophic changes. This suggests the direct cytotoxic action of aqueous extract of Aspilia africana resulting from placental transfer during pregnancy to the neonates. This study highlights the possible abnormalities that could result in a newborn when a pregnant animal is exposed to an aqueous extract of Aspilia africana during the seven days of gestation. The results of this experiment suggest that the functions of the kidney could also have been affected as a result of the massive cyto-archictectural distortion. It is recommended that further studies aimed at corroborating these observations be conducted.
Birth defects are known to occur in 3-5% of newborns 1 . They are the leading cause of infant mortality during the first year of life 2 . Approximately 7-10% of all newborns will require extensive medical care to diagnose or treat a birth defect 3 . Although significant progress has been made in identifying etiological causes of some birth defects, approximately 65% have no known or identifiable cause 4 . In ethno medical practice plant materials has been used as sources of medical compounds and had played a dominant role in the maintenance of human health in most rural communities in developing countries in time past. Like any therapeutic agent, when overdosed or incorrectly used they also have the potential to induce adverse effects. The historic role of medicinal herbs in the treatment and prevention of disease, and their role as catalysts in the development of pharmacology do not, however, assure their safety for uncontrolled use by an uninformed public 5 .
There has been minimal research to address possible adverse reproductive, immunologic, or neurological effects or even systemic toxicity and/or carcinogenicity that might be associated with high doses or prolonged use of these products 6 . This concern was frequently expressed at the International Workshop to Evaluate Research Needs on the Use and Safety of Medicinal Herbs (1998) could not be assumed safe because they are “natural” 7 .
In Benin City, Nigeria, many plants are used in herbal medicine to cure diseases and heal injuries. Such medicinal plants include
The kidney is a paired organ located in the posterior abdominal wall whose functions include removing waste products from the blood and regulating the amount of fluid in the body. As in humans the majority of drugs administered to animals are eliminated by a combination of hepatic metabolism and renal excretion 20 . The kidney also plays a major role in drug metabolism. However its major importance to drug disposition remains its excretory function.
This work was performed in order to investigate potential teratogenic effects of
Materials and Methods
The 0.5g/kg and 1g/kg extract of
Renal tissues were dehydrated in an ascending grade of alcohol (ethanol 70%), cleared in xylene and embedded in paraffin wax after the method of Drury and Wallington 1980 22 . Serial sections of 7 microns thick were obtained using a rotatory microtome. The deparaffinised sections were stained routinely with haematoxylin and eosin. Photomicrographs of the desired results were obtained using digital research photographic microscope in the University of Benin research laboratory.
The micrograph of the kidney tissue of the neonates in the control group showed a well-detailed cortical parenchyma. The renal corpuscles appear as dense rounded structures with the glomeruli surrounded by narrow Bowman's spaces (Figure 1)
The kidney tissue of the neonate of the animals in group A treated with 0.5g/kg of
The kidney sections of the neonate of the animals in group B treated with 1g/kg of
About the eight day of the experiment the animals in the treatment groups were observed to be restless and lethargic, with those in groups B more aggressive. Some animals in groups B were observed to have diarrhea at about the fifth day of experiment but this effect was transient. There were no significant weight changes between the control and the treated animals and between the dosed males and the pregnant females in the study groups.
The results (H & E) reactions showed that administration of
It may be inferred from the present results that higher doses of
Degenerative changes have been reported to result in cell death, which is of two types, namely apoptotic and necrotic cell death. These two types differ morphologically and biochemically 23 . Pathological or accidental cell death is regarded as necrotic and could result from extrinsic insults to the cell such as osmotic, thermal, toxic and traumatic effects 24 . In this experiment
Conclusion and Recommendation
In conclusion, our study revealed that