Olu SI.*, Olotu E. J. and Oghenemavwe E. L.


The incidence of children born with birth defects is 20% higher in Sub Saharan Africa than in developed countries and care must be taken to check the risk factors correlated to birth defects. Garcinia kola is used anecdotically as an anti-emetic during early pregnancy by many Nigerian women. In this study Garcinia Kola was evaluated for its potential to produce teratogenicity in rats following oral administration. Twenty five female Wistar rats with weight ranging from 170-250g were divided into 5 groups (n=5). They were mated with males in a 2:1 (female: male) ratio and mating was ascertained the following morning by the presence of spermatozoa in vaginal smear and that day was designated Day 0 of pregnancy. Group A(control) received feed and distilled water ad libitum, groups B, C and D were administered orally with 30, 100 and 1000mg/kg b. w of Garcinia kola Seed Extract respectively while group E received 200mg/kg b. w of Valproic Acid throughout gestation. On day 20, the animals were sacrificed and the following parameters were examined and recorded; uterine horns, resorption sites, live and dead foetuses, foetal weight, crown-rump length(C-RL), crown-heel length(C-HL) and abdominal circumference (ABD. Cir)The results showed resorption sites in the uterine horns of some animals in Groups C, D, and E. Foetal weight values in groups C(1.58±0.67), D(0.39±0.26) and E(1.40±0.59) were significantly lower (p<0.05) than the values in group A(3.97±0.20). The mean values of C-RL, C-HL and ABD. Cir. in goups B, C, and E were lower than A but not significant (p<0.05). However, C-RL, C-HL and ABD Cir. values in group D (0.79±0.49, 0.83±0. 51,0.92±0.58) were significantly lower (p<0.05)than group A(3.07±0.77,3.28±0.82,3.48±0.79) respectively. The findings suggest that Garcinia Kola may induce a dose dependent teratogenic effect in the rat model.

Keywords: Garcinia kola, Teratogenic, foetal weight, crown-rump length, Wistar rats.

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