Effects of exposure to ethanolic extract from Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. flowers on reproductive and developmental parameters in Wistar rats
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Achyrocline satureioides (LAM) D.C. is a species plant used in folk medicine with several medicinal properties; however, few studies have focused on its potential adverse effects. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of ethanolic extract of A. satureioides flowers administered during pre-mating, mating, pregnancy and postpartum period on reproductive and developmental parameters in rats. Male and female rats received by gavage 0, 250, 500 or 750 mg/kg of extract. The animals were treated from pre-mating until 13 days post-partum. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of important flavonoids (quercetin, luteolin, caffeic acid, rutin, and ferulic acid). In females, biochemical, hematological or gestational parameters were not markedly altered by the extract. However, an increase in calcium and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels was found in treated-dams. Although TSH and T4 levels were not significantly altered in pups, there was a rise in body weight of pups whose mothers were treated with the extract. All males treated were able to successfully copulate with treated-females. However, rats exposed to 500 and 750 mg/kg of extract exhibited a significant decrease in daily testicular sperm production and delay in sperm transit time in the epididymis. The ethanolic extract of A. satureioides flowers produced adverse effects in the male reproductive system as evidenced by diminished sperm production and transport. In addition, the extract elevated TSH levels of exposed mothers which may consequently affect the development of pups but this requires further evaluation.
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