Morphologic Changes in the Utero-ovarian Tissues of the Offspring of Rats Exposed to Aqueous Extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa During Lactation
Zobo, a sweetened aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS), is commonly produced and consumed by Nigerians of all ages irrespective of gender and physiologic state as a substitute for carbonated drinks or fruit juices. In this study, we intended to investigate the morphologic changes induced by HS on the utero-ovarian tissues of offspring of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats whose mothers drank HS during lactation. Eighteen pregnant rats were used for this study. These rats were given ad libitum food and water throughout pregnancy. On the day of delivery the rats were randomly divided into three groups of six animals each: Group A continued with the tap water (control) while groups B and C received 0.6g/100ml and 1.8g/100ml aqueous extract of HS respectively as their drinking fluid throughout 21 days postpartum. Results show that the pups of the HS dams had delayed onset of puberty and heavier uteri and ovaries compared with the control. The HS pups also had fewer mature follicles in the ovary and diffuse infiltrates of eosinophils in the endometrium. It was concluded that HS had estrogenic effects on the uterus and inhibitory effects on growth of follicles in the ovaries.
Key words: Hibiscus sabdariffa, Morphologic changes, Endometrium, Ovarian tissue, Lactation, Sprague-Dawley rats.