Effect of alcohol on the endocrine glands of pregnant Wistar rats

  • JE Onu
  • BO Oke
  • PC Ozebge
  • JO Omirinde
Keywords: Alcohol, pregnancy, fetus, Wistar rats

Abstract

Background: An investigation was conducted to determine the effect of alcohol on some endocrine glands of pregnant Wistar rats.
Methods: Thirty female Wistar rats divided into 2 groups of 15 each were used. Group 1 served as control while group 2 was exposed to 2g/kg body weight 30% ethanol during pregnancy. At the 7th, 14th and 21st days of pregnancy, 5 pregnant rats respectively, were selected from each group and sacrificed after determination of their body weights. After the sacrifice, some endocrine glands: pituitary, adrenal, ovary, thyroid, pancreas and placenta were dissected out, observed grossly and weighed. Relative
weights (%) of the organs were also determined.
Results: The results of the investigation showed that alcohol consumption during pregnancy increased the absolute and relative weights of adrenal gland and placenta and decreased the absolute and relative weights of thyroid glands. However, alcohol consumption had no observable effect on the absolute and relative weights of the pituitary gland, ovary and pancreas during the three weeks of pregnancy.
Conclusions: Alcohol could be mediating its effect on the fetus(es) through the effect on the adrenal and thyroid glands, and placenta of Wistar rats.
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