Histological Studies Of The Teratogenic Effects Of Camphor On The Developing Kidney Of The Wistar Rats

  • AO Eweka
  • JO Adjene
  • BU Enaibe


Background: Camphor is a common, white volatile, insoluble crystalline organic substance used in the manufacture of celluloid and explosives. It is also used in so many varied conditions as mixtures in medicinal compounds. In some communities in Nigeria camphor is used as a constituent of the local medicinal concoction called “agbo” which is believed to cure stomach disorders, malaria fever, skin rashes, eye problems and hemorrhoid. It is on this basis that this research is carried out.Aims: Since the Kidney is involved in the excretion of many toxic metabolic waste products it would be worthwhile to examine the teratogenic effects of camphor solution on the developing kidneys on adult Wistar rats. Methods: Both adult male and female Wistar rats (n=30) weighing between 150g -180g were randomly assigned into three (A, B & C) treatments (n=8) and control (D) (n=6) groups, with the cages of the treatment groups each containing a male rat. The rats in thetreatment group “A” received 0.001g in 1ml of camphor solution daily; those in group “B” received 0.002g in 1ml of camphor solution daily, while rats in group “C” received 0.003g in 1ml of camphor solution daily. They were fed with growers’ mash obtained from Ladokun Feeds, Ltd, Ibadan and the rats were given water liberally. The control rats received equal amount of the growers’ mash without the camphor solution. The rats weretreated during the first seven days of pregnancy. After parturition, the kidney sections were obtained from the pups or neonates and processed for routine histological investigation. Results: Histological changes observed in the kidney sections revealed  mild edema withglomerulonephritis, tubular lobulation and interstitial necrosis. This may suggest the direct cytotoxic action of camphor resulting from placenta transfer during pregnancy to the neonates. Conclusion: The result of this study highlights the possible abnormalities that could resultin a newborn when a pregnant animal is exposed to camphor in the seven days of gestation, and may suggest that the functions of the kidney could also have been affected due to the mild edema with glomerulonephritis, tubular lobulation and interstitial necrosis of the kidney. It is recommended that further studies aimed at corroborating theseobservations be carried out.

Key words: Camphor, kidney, glomerulonephritis, tubular lobulation, interstitial necrosis and Wistar rats.


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