Reproductive activities of female albino rats treated with quassin, a bioactive triterpenoid from stem bark extract of Quassia amara

  • Raji Yinusa
  • Akinola Adeniran
  • P Ibukun Oyeyipo
  • Femi-Akinlosotu Omowumi


To evaluate the effect of quassin on female reproductive functions, 42 albino rats (35 females and 7 males) were used. The female albino rats were divided into seven groups of five rats each. Group I served as the control group and received distilled water while Groups II, III and IV rats were treatedorally with 0.1mg/kg, 1.0 mg/kg and 2.0 mg/kg body weight of quassin for 60 days respectively. Groups V, VI and VII rats were also treated orally with 0.1 mg/kg, 1.0mg/kg and 2.0 mg/kg body weight of quassin for 60 days but were left untreated for another 30 days, to serve as the recovery groups. At the end of each experimental period, blood samples were collected from each rat. Fertility study was done by cohabiting one untreated male with the five female rats in each group for 10 days. Quassin did not adversely affect the weight of the kidney, heart, liver and the body of the rats. However there was a significant decrease(P < 0.05) in the weight of the ovary and uterus in all the groups relative to the control. There was also a significant decrease (P <0.05) in serum estrogen levels in quassin treated rats. The quassin treated rats had a significantly decreased (P < 0.05) mean litter number and weight. Histological studies show a disorganization and degeneration in the ovary while the uterus showed signs of vacuolation and disorganization. However, these effects were ameliorated after quassin was withdrawn from the rats. The results suggest that quassin has female anti-fertility properties, possibly acting via inhibition of estrogen secretion.

Keywords: Quassin, Female rat, Reproduction, Estrogen

Nig. J. Physiol. Sci. 25(December 2010) 95 – 102

Author Biographies

Raji Yinusa
Departments of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Akinola Adeniran
Departments of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
P Ibukun Oyeyipo
Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University Osogbo, Nigeria
Femi-Akinlosotu Omowumi
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0794-859X