Effects of Ethanolic Fruit Extract of Picralima nitida (Stapf) on Conception and Estrogenicity in Female Albino Rats
In search for medicinal plants with renowned reputation of contraceptive and fertility-modulating ability, this work was designed to evaluate the effects of ethanolic fruit extract of Picralima nitida on conception and oestrogenicity using twentyone sexually mature and twenty-four sexually immature female Sprague Dawley rats respectively. For the anti-conceptive study, 0 mg/kg, 50 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg of the extract was administered from day 1to day 4 of gestation (7 rats per group). On the 20th day of gestation, percentage of pregnant females (PPF), live foetal number (LFN), corpora lutea number (CLN), resorbed embryo number (REN), foetal crown-rump length (FCRL) and fertility indices (FI) were evaluated. For the anti-estrogenic study, Groups 1 to 3 (ovariectomized immature female rats) received 0.1 mg/kg of Stilboestrol, 50 mg/kg of the extract, and 0.2 ml of paraffin respectively, once daily for four consecutive days. Group 4 comprised of sham-operated immature female rats with their ovaries intact. The extract elicited absolute conception failure in 42.86% of the treated animals. The extract significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the FCRL, LFN and FI, but increased the REN. Evaluation of the allometric weights of the uterine tissues, endometrial thickness and vaginal opening revealed that the extract at 50 mg/kg body weight was antioestrogenic in activity. Findings from this research strongly suggest that the ethanolic fruit extract of Picralima nitida possesses significant post-coital anti-fertility activity in rats, which could not be attributed to its oestrogenic activity.
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