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Due to high cost of protein relative to other major nutrients, as part of search for cheaper alternative source for good quality protein for dietary purposes, we evaluated Detarium senegalense seed meal by comparing growth performance, tissue and reproductive toxicity markers in rats with those on soybean. Defatted Detarium senegalense (DDS) ground seed powder was used for feed formulation for test animals while the control group had soybean as protein source for eight weeks. Maximum percentage protein was 19% for all compounded feeds, soybean diet feed rats served as control (T1), T2 had 19% DDS only, while T3 - T6 had 16%, 12%, 8% and 4.8% DDS and protein content was made up to 19% using soybeans. Body weights, lipid profile, markers of liver toxicity, lipid peroxidation, sperm morphology and characteristics as well as tissue histology (liver, kidney and testes) were examined using standard methods. Whole seed residue, DDS seed flour and control diets (soybeans) were analyzed for proximate content. DDS seed residue-based diet (T2) caused decrease in both body and organ weights compared to control rats (T1). DDS residue-based feed caused increase in liver protein concentration while kidney protein content decreased except in groups T5 and T6 on 8% and 4.8% DDS residue. There was no significant variations (P > 0.05) in sperm viability but there was a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in sperm count in group T2 compared to control (T1). Statistically significant morphological changes were observed in head less tail, bent tail, curved tail and bent mid-piece. DDS elicited increase in serum total cholesterol, HDL-c and LDL-c in all test groups compared to control but caused decrease in triglyceride in T2. Serum urea level, AST and ALT were higher in T2 relative to control rats. Histopathological examination showed evidence of liver tissue damage but none in the kidney and testes.
Keywords: DDS seed residue feed, growth, antioxidants, lipid profile, sperm morphology, toxicity.