FETAL TOXICITY OF HYDROALCOHOLIC EXTRACT OF AGERATUM CONYZOIDES L. LEAVES (ASTERACEAE) IN RATS
Objective: Ageratum conyzoides is known to possess pharmacological and therapeutic pro perties in Africa. Some pyrrolizidine alkaloids, chemicals known to induce fetuses toxicity, have been identified in A. conyzoides. This study aims to evaluate the fetal toxicity of A. conyzoides.
Methods: Mated females were randomly assigned to three experimental groups of 8 animals each. Pregnant rats received orally 500 or 1000â€‰mg/kg of 80% hydroalcoholic extract of A. conyzoides, daily from the 17th to the 20th day of gestation. On day 21 of pregnancy, the females were sacrificed. Laparotomy was performed and uterine horns were removed. The number of implants, resorptions, and dead and live fetuses was then recorded. The ovaries were also observed and the corpora lutea were counted.
Results: No visible signs of toxicity were observed in females and their pups throughout the study period. However, A. conyzoides (500 and 1000 mg/kg) caused a significant decrease (p<0.01) of fetal weight compared with the control. For the implantation, resorption and morta-lity there was no significant difference between groups.
Conclusion: The administration of hydroalcoholic extract of A. conyzoides to female rats in late pregnancy is toxic to the fetuses. This fetal toxicity can be due to the oxidative stress induced by pyrrolizidine alkaloids present in this plant.
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