Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences <p><em>Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences</em> (J. Afr. Assoc. Physiol. Sci.)<strong>&nbsp;</strong>is an international, bi-annual official publication of African Association of Physiological Sciences. Both print and online forms are available. The journal is aimed at dissemination of information on diverse areas of research in Physiological Sciences disciplines and to showcase a representative cross-section of the kinds of research being carried out in Africa, in particular and globally. The journal was established in 2012 at the congress of African Association of Physiological Sciences held in Egypt. The journal will consider for publication, Full-length original research articles, short communications as well as review articles.</p> <p>Other websites associated with this journal:&nbsp;<a title="" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> <p><strong>J. Afr. Assoc. Physiol. Sci. </strong>applies the&nbsp;<a href="">Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license</a>, under which authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly acknowledged.</p> African Association of Physiological Sciences (AAPS) en-US Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences 2315-9987 The copyright of the journal content blelongs to the African Association of Physiological Sciences. Covid and the virtual classroom: the new normal? <p>Virtual learning can be defined as software systems created to support the teaching- learning process that allows teachers and students to communicate in an integrated manner through cyberspace. The rapid developments in technology over the past few years, have led to the innovation of systems through which information can be delivered independent of location. The current COVID-19 climate has resulted in the restructuring of the educational system and the adaptation of technology globally, so as to portray didactic ideologies. Investigation of efficacy of the use of design software platforms in a virtual learning environment is paramount as digitation has become a significant&nbsp; factor in the synthesis and dissemination of learning materials within the educational system. The use of virtual classrooms is deemed advantageous as it enables the incorporation of learning styles, decreases the incidences of learning barriers, allows for adherence of&nbsp; Covid-19 restrictions, and enhances mental encoding and information retention. It also comes with certain disadvantages, which are&nbsp; attributable to the technological divide, economic and technological infrastructure, the user’s knowledge, perception and usage of these technological advancements, and its possible alienation and educational dissatisfaction. What and who benefits with these learning platforms; Is this the new normal going forward?</p> J. Christian Jr K. Harewood V. Nna A.B. Ebeigbe C.R. Nwokocha Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 1 9 Hematinic effect of locust bean (<i>Parkia biglobosa</i>) seeds on phenylhydrazine-induced anaemia in rats <p><strong>Background:</strong> Hematinic effect of the extract of locust bean seeds was investigated following Phenylhydrazine (primarily used as antipyretics) administration in wistar rats.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: The phytochemical, chemical and mineral constituents of the locust bean seeds were evaluated. 25 adult male wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: Group 1 rats were untreated control; Group 2 received only phenylhydrazine: (negative controls); Group 3 received phenylhydrazine +100 mg/kg of extract; Group 4 received phenylhydrazine +1000 mg/kg of extract; Group 5 received&nbsp; phenylhydrazine + 0.23 ml/kg of Bioferon®: phenylhydrazine (40mg/kg body weight) was administered via intraperitoneal route on day 0, with two additional doses given at 9am and 6pm, on day 1 of the experiment; the seed extracts of Parkia biglobosa and Bioferon were both administered orally for 14 days. On day 15, the rats were anesthetized by chloroform and blood was collected by direct cardiac puncture. Packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin (Hb), Red blood cell counts (RBC), Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), Mean concentration of hemoglobin (MCH), Reticulocytes and Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were determined using automated machine (Sysmex apparatus of the type 8999).</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The phytochemical analysis of the extract revealed the presence of tannis, alkaloids, flavonoid, aponin, steroid and glycosides. The chemical analysis indicated the presence of moisture, protein, crude fat, crude fibre, ash, carbohydrate, and nitrogen. The mineral contents of the extract revealed the presence of: Sodium,&nbsp; Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper and&nbsp; Phosphorus. Phenylhydrazine significantly reduced all erythrocyte parameters in group 2 rats when compared with group 1 rats (p&lt;0.05). However, administration of the extract and Bioferon significantly increased values of all erythrocyte parameters in groups 4 and 5 rats respectively compared with group 2 rats.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The results suggest a possible hematinic effect of the extract of locust bean seeds on the parameters of erythrocyte following phenylhydrazine administration. The observed effects of the extract could possibly be from the rich nutritional content of the <em>P. biglobosa</em> seeds.</p> T.A. Kolawole B.O. Oluwatayo E.B. Umoren O.N. Ilochi D.V. Dapper U.V. Igbokwe Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 10 17 Sodium bicarbonate supplementation prevents cardiac hypertrophy in male rats exposed to high intensity swim exercise via inhibition of lactate dehydrogenase activity <p><strong>Background:</strong> Cardiac hypertrophy is linked with ventricular arrhythmia and can be fatal among athletes&nbsp; engaged in high intensity exercise. This study investigates the effect of sodium bicarbonate on cardiac hypertrophy induced by swim exercise in male Wistar rats.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Forty male Wistar (100-150 g) randomly divided into 5 groups 1-5 (n =8) were used. Group 1 was the control sedentary animals while groups 2-3 and 4-5 were exercised at low or high intensity, respectively. Groups 1,2 and 4 received distilled water while groups 3 and 5 received sodium bicarbonate (250 mg/kg, p.o) daily. Exercise was carried out by swimming in a temperature regulated water tank 5 days/ week for 8 weeks. The intensity was varied by attaching 5% body weight load to the tail of the high intensity exercise groups while the low intensity groups were unloaded. Body weight was monitored weekly. Blood samples were obtained for plasma lipid profile, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) concentration. Cardiac hypertrophy was determined from the heart weight to tail length (HW:TL) ratio. Data were presented as Mean ± SEM.</p> <p><strong>Results:</strong> Final body weights of all exercised groups were not different when compared with their initial weight. Cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein were decreased in the high intensity exercise group treated with sodium bicarbonate. Triglyceride level was not different across all groups while High-density lipoprotein increased in the low intensity untreated and low intensity treated groups. CRP level was not different across all groups while LDH activity was significantly decreased in the high intensity exercised group treated with sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate treatment also caused significant decrease in HW:TL ratio in the treated high intensity exercise group compared with their corresponding untreated group.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Sodium bicarbonate supplementation ameliorated swim exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy in male Wistar rats through a mechanism that probably involves lactate dehydrogenase activity.</p> A.O. Afolabi S.T. Shittu Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 18 25 Influence of nanosilver on osmotic fragility responses of erythrocyte membrane following Na+/K+-ATPase blockade <p><strong>Background:</strong> The molecular mechanisms and overt effects of nanoparticle-induced changes in red blood cells (RBCs) structure and function across membrane cell lines remain unclear despite the increasing use and application in nanomedicine. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of nanosilver exposure on osmoregulation of red cell membrane fragility in digoxin-induced Na+-K+ATPase blockade in vitro.</p> <p><strong>Materials and Method</strong>: Samples from 50 subjects were obtained from consenting asymptomatic adults: male and female HbAA haemoglobin genotype. After separation and washing of erythrocytes, the samples were divided into three sets with each sample treated in duplicate with graded percentage concentrations of phosphate buffer solutions (0.9, 0.8, 0.7, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.1). The second and third set of samples were incubated with 0.05ml of erythrocytes, 1 ml phosphate buffer saline and 1 ml nanosilver or digoxin of 25 mg/ml. Thereafter, the content of each test tube was incubated for 1 hour and 3 hours respectively. The absorbance was recorded after 30mins incubation for each set with standard spectrophotometer at 540 nm wavelength. Haemolysis in each tube was recorded and expressed as percentage of the absorbance in distilled water. The average values recorded were plotted against the different&nbsp; concentrations used.</p> <p><strong>Results:</strong> Erythrocytes from the sample incubated with nanosilver had significantly increased osmotic lysis compared with the untreated cells in rate-depended manner (P&lt;0.05). Similar pattern was observed with digoxin pre-incubated cells. The mean osmotic fragility (MOF) index of the untreated, nanosilver and digoxin pre-incubated cells was in the order: digoxin&gt;nanosilver&gt;untreated.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: exposure of RBCs to nanosilver and in Na+/K+ATPase blockade may result in increased hemolytic effects by multifactorial cell membrane-mediated processes</p> O.K. Uche S. Odara Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 26 31 Alterations of selected biomarkers and reproductive tissues histoarchitecture in offspring of artemether-lumefantrine treated lactating dams <p><strong>Background</strong>: Evidence from previous studies suggests that most antimalarial agents adversely affect reproductive functions. The deleterious effects of artemether-lumefantrine on reproductive functions have also been documented but there is dearth of knowledge on the generational reproductive outcomes during lactation. Hence, we investigated the reproductive outcomes in offspring of dams treated with artemether-lumefantrine during lactation.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Ten lactating dams were randomly assigned into two groups (n=5) and treated as follows: Group I (control) received distilled water (1 ml/kg BW, p.o.) while Group II received artemether-lumefantrine (4/24 mg/kg BW, p.o.) for seven (7) consecutive days immediately after parturition. Pups were thereafter weaned and later given rat chow with water ad libitum daily, before they were euthanized at postnatal day 90 (PND 90).</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The results showed that although the anti-malarial drug caused a significant decrease in serum testosterone and estrogen levels in offspring of the treated group, relative to the control group; however, follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones, sperm motility, sperm viability and sperm count were not significantly different between the two groups. Moreover, only testicular catalase activity was significantly decreased with a concomitant interstitial edema and defective histoarchitectural presentation in the testis and ovary. Nevertheless, the level of malondialdehyde was unaltered in both testes and ovarian tissues of the treated group as compared with control.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Therefore, this study suggests that exposure to artemether-lumefantrine during lactation could disrupt steroidogenic functions in both testicular and ovarian tissues of offspring in adult life.</p> D.H. Adeyemi A.M. Lawal Y.O. Akinlaja O.P. Morakinyo A.A. Aderanti I.P. Oyeyipo Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 32 39 Effect of hydromethanolic extract of <i>Rauvolfia vomitoria</i> leaf on blood glucose, plasma insulin and histomorphology of the pancreas of streptozotocin-induced diabetic male wistar rats <p><strong>Background</strong>: Diabetes mellitus is one of the most dreaded health issues worldwide due to its exponential increasing rate and the limitations of synthetic drugs in providing complete cure for it, hence, the call by health stakeholders, for more researches on medicinal plants due to their promising results in providing solutions to some health issues with little or no side effect. In response to this call, this study investigates the effects of <em>Rauvolfia vomitoria</em> leaf extract on blood glucose, plasma insulin and histomorphology of the pancreas of diabetic rats in an attempt to evaluate its anti-diabetic potentials.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Diabetes was induced via intraperitoneal injection of 55mg/kg b. wt. streptozotocin and treated with hydromethanolic extract of <em>Rauvolfia vomitoria</em> leaf (250mg/kg and 500mg/kg b. wt. doses) and glyburide (5mg/kg b. wt.) for 28 days. Blood glucose levels were measured after every 4 days of treatment during treatment period. Plasma insulin levels were estimated after 14 and 28 days of treatment via immunoassay; while the histomorphological study was done using hematoxylin and eosin staining technique.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Results from this study show dose dependent significant (P&lt;0.05) decrease in blood glucose levels and a dose dependent significant increase in plasma insulin of the extract treated groups which were comparable to those of glyburide treated group. The histological study of the pancreas showed an improvement on the deranged pancreas of diabetic rats following 28-days treatment with <em>Rauvolfia vomitoria</em> leaf extract. This possibly explains the increase in plasma insulin levels and a corresponding decrease in blood glucose.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: From the results of this study, it is therefore concluded that Rauvolfia vomitoria has strong anti-diabetic property. The results show that <em>Rauvolfia vomitoria</em> leaf extract effect its anti-diabetic action by enhancing the regeneration of the pancreatic islets thereby increasing insulin secretion and plasma insulin level.</p> P. Akpojotor M.I. Ebomoyi Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 40 47 Maleficent effects of chronic tobacco <i>Shisha</i> smoke exposure on sperm DNA fragmentation, count, motility and morphology in adult male wistar rats <p><strong>Background</strong>: Currently there are no putative empirical data on the effect of Shisha smoking on sperm DNA integrity and some of the available data on the adverse effects of Shisha smoking on conventional semen characteristics: sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology are contradictory. Despite the well-known deleterious reproductive effects of cigarette smoking, it is relatively unclear whether or not Shisha smoking has the same effect on male reproductive parameters. The present study was aimed at determining the effect of chronic Shisha smoke exposure on semen parameters and sperm DNA integrity in adult male Wistar rats.</p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> Twenty-one adult male Wistar rats between the ages of 8-12 weeks, weighing between 160 -180 g were divided randomly into three groups containing 7 rats per group. Group I rats were kept for 30 minutes daily in the nose-only exposure chamber for a period 13 weeks without exposure to Shisha smoke; group II (with water in the Shisha jar) was exposed to bonged shisha smoke (BSS) and group III (without water in the shisha jar) was exposed to unbonged Shisha smoke (UBSS), respectively for 7 seconds first and fresh air later for 53 seconds, alternatively for 30 minutes daily for a period of 13 weeks. The Shisha smoke was drawn from the Shisha apparatus outlet by a vacuum compressor at a pressure of 300 kPa into the nose-only exposure chamber where the rats were kept. At the end of the exposure, five animals from each group were randomly selected and anaesthetised with 0.4 mL/100g of combined ketamine and diazepam and blood samples were obtained through cardiac puncture.</p> <p><strong>Results:</strong>The result obtained showed that chronic exposure to Shisha smoke revealed a significant increase in testicular malondialdehyde (MDA) level, high sperm DNA fragmentation and abnormal cell morphology, marked reduction in serum testosterone concentration, sperm count and progressive motility.</p> I. Suleiman A. Mohammed M.U. Kawu Y. Tanko M.B. Akor-Dewu Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 48 57 Alpha-lipoic acid attenuates depressive symptoms in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress <p><strong>Background:</strong> Depression is the most common psychiatric illness that involves mood disturbances affecting many brain regions. Despite many approaches available to treat depression, only about 35% of depressed patients achieve remission upon receiving antidepressants. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that plays an essential role in mitochondrial energy metabolism and neurotransmitter modulation. Hence, this research was aimed at assessing a possible antidepressant effect of ALA in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS).</p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> Twenty-five (25) Swiss albino mice weighing between 20-26 g were grouped into five groups of five mice each (n=5). Group 1: which served as control received normal saline (NS) and was exposed to CUMS, Groups 2, 3, and 4 received graded doses of ALA (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg respectively), Group 5 (positive control) received fluoxetine (20 mg/kg). Daily administration was done through oral gavage. The animals were subjected to open field (OF) and staircase (SC) tests after induction of depression using CUMS. Thereafter, brain and blood samples of the mice were collected for serotonin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA) analysis.</p> <p><strong> Results:</strong> Treatment with ALA 200 mg/kg significantly decreased immobility time compared to CUMS + NS group (P≤0.05) in the tail suspension test. Similarly, fluoxetine 20 mg/kg significantly increased brain serotonin level and decreased BDNF level compared to CUMS + NS group (P≤0.05). However, ALA did not significantly affect brain serotonin and BDNF levels (P&gt;0.05). In the OF test, a significant decrease was observed in the number of line crossings in ALA 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg and fluoxetine 20 mg/kg administered groups when compared with CUMS + NS group (P≤0.05). However, in SC test and oxidative stress biomarkers, no significant effect was observed (P&gt;0.05).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong> ALA showed a promising antidepressant-like effect in mice subjected to CUMS murine model of depression by decreasing immobility time.</p> Y. Yusha’u U.A. Muhammad S. Mustapha A.H. Umar M.I. Imam B. Umar A.W. Alhassan M.I.A Saleh J. Ya’u Copyright (c) 2021-08-03 2021-08-03 9 1 58 68