A comparison of the hormonal and metabolic effects of Montandra guineesis seed extracts and menstrogen on midgestational pregnant rabbits

  • OS Odesanmi Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria


Motandra guineensis seed has been credited with abortifacient properties. The metabolic and hormanal effects have however not been documented. This study was designed to: (i) Investigate the effect of a 10-day mid-gestational oral administration of varied doses (50mg and 75mg per kg body weight) of the plant seed extract (MGE) on serum estrogen and progesterone levels of pregnant rabbits. (ii) Compare the effects of menstrogen and Motandra guineensis seed extract (MGE) on fasting serum levels of albumin, total proteins, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. Twenty rabbits, 15 days pregnant and weighing 2-2.5kg were divided into four groups. Each of three groups 2,3,4 received a daily oral dose of 50mg, 75mg/kg body weight of plant extract (MGE) or the pharmacological dose of menstrogen respectively in addition to ad libitum standard pellet and water feeding. Group 1 received no drug and served as control. Fasting blood serum was collected from each group upon sacrifice. Metabolic parameters were determined by standard methods and hormone levels levels were estimated by radioimmunoassay methods. There was complete foetal resorption in rabbits treated with either menstrogen or MGE since no foetus was recorded in either group upon sacrifice. There was a significant (p<0.05) increase in the blood serum oestrogen and progesterone levels of test rabbits after treatment with 75mg/kg body weight dose of Motandra guineensis extract. This contrasted with the decline in hormone level recorded for the untreated (control) which were also close to the end of the gestational period. Menstrogen elicited significant increases in serum albumin, HDL-cholestrol and LDL-cholesterol levels accompanied by a highly significant (P<0.01) depression of the serum triglyceride levels in treated animals compared to control. Motandra guineensis - extract (MGE) caused a dose - dependent elevation of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels compared to control. The metabolic effect due to oral administration of MGE were less marked compared to menstrogen.

Conclusion: Oral administration of ethanolic extract of Motandra guineensis at 75mg/kg body weight resulted in significant elevation of estrogens, progesterone and lipoprotein - cholesterol level of the pregnant rabbit.

Keywords: Motandra guineensis, herbal abortifacient, hormonal and metabolic effects

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 4(2) 2005: 134-138

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eISSN: 1595-8272