Morphometric variables of offspring of Quassia amara treated male rats
Objective: Quassia amara is a medicinal plant with various pharmacological properties. The bioactive compound quassin is used as flavoring in food and beverages. Reproductive toxicological action of Q. amara is well documented but no information exists on its effect on prenatal programming.
Methods: Adult male rats (180-200g, n=5) were treated daily (p.o) with Q. amara extract (100 mg/kg) for 6 weeks. A control group received distilled water. After 5 weeks of treatment, female rats were cohabited with the males for 7 days, at the ratio of 2:1. Mating was confirmed by presence of spermatozoa in all vaginal smear. Morphometric indices of all offspring were recorded on postnatal day one. They were also examined for any sign of abnormality or physical defect.
Results: Fertility was zero in four out of the five treated rats. The females that cohabited with the fertile treated male gave birth to pups of varying sizes (6 and 9). However, four of the five control male rats were fertile and the female rats they mated had 9 pups each. No visible physical defect was observed on all offspring. Anogenital distance of the male offspring of the treated rats was significantly shorter than male offspring of the control, while anogenital distance of female offspring showed no statistical difference. Head diameter and body length were also significantly lower in offspring of the treated rats. However, weight, abdominal diameter and sex ratio of offspring were not statistically different.
Conclusion: Quassia amara extract caused a reduction in the male anogenital distance, litter size, head diameter and body length of the offspring of treated male rats. Its reproductive toxicity actions may alter the developmental programming and probably transferred from one generation to another.
Keywords: Quassia amara, spermatozoa, developmental programming, anogenital distance, endocrine disruptors
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