Histomorphological changes in the ovarian and uterine tissues of adult wistar rats following exposure to aqueous extract of Aspilia africana flowers
Okwuonu Uche Christina, Njoya Helen Kwipnchep and Uwagbor Victor Sola
Aspilia africana is a tropical plant that has recently gained relevance and popularity due to its ability to effect changes in the reproductive system/functions both in males and females. Besides its roles in fertility, it has been reported to possess antibacterial, antimicrobial, wound healing and anti-hemorrhagic effect, the latter being the reason it is called the hemorrhagic plant. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of graded dosages of aqueous extract of Aspilia africana flowers on the histo-morphological profile of ovarian and uterine tissues of female Wistar rats. Twenty (20) female rats were used for this study and were divided into four (4) groups of five (5) animals each. Control group (A) was given distilled water which was used as vehicle, while groups B, C and D were administered 150mg/kg, 200mg/kg and 300mg/kg for 21 days through oral gavage. Thereafter, the ovaries and uterine tissues were excised, weighed and put through routine histological processing. The results obtained from this study revealed normal ovarian epithelium except in the group treated with 200mg of the extract, which showed some degree of distortion, patchy areas of stromal degeneration, stromal congestion, atretic follicles with pyknotic granulosa cells and degenerating follicles lacking oocyte, which was also a prominent feature of all the follicles in the group treated with 300mg/kg body weight of the extract. The uterine endometrium of extract-treated groups on the other hand showed thickening of lining epithelium, mild to moderate endometrial hyperplasia, focal areas of ulcerations, and mild infiltration of inflammatory cells. It can be concluded that the administration of aqueous flower extract of A. africana produced distortive changes in the ovaries with increased follicular atresia in preovulatory follicles which may impair ovulation and by extension, fertility potentials. It also caused disruptive effects on the uterine tissues which can also lead to reproductive dysfunction.
Okwuonu Uche Christina, Njoya Helen Kwipnchep, Uwagbor Victor Sola. Histomorphological changes in the ovarian and uterine tissues of adult wistar rats following exposure to aqueous extract of Aspilia africana flowers. J Med Plants Stud 2023;11(2):97-102.