Angylocalyx oligophyllus (Fabaceae) is a shrub used traditionally to treat diabetes mellitus and intestinal parasites. Although it is also used by pregnant women, no scientific study has yet revealed its effects on pregnancy. This work aimed to assess the toxic effects of A. oligophyllus leaves aqueous extract on pregnancy, reproduction and fetal development in pregnant rats. The acute toxicity of the A. oligophyllus leaves aqueous extract was firstly performed in female non-pregnant rats. Then, pregnant rats were divided into a control and three test groups receiving, respectively distilled water and A. oligophyllus leaves aqueous extract doses (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) by gavage for 20 days (from pregnancy screening day). The daily body masses of pregnant rats and the 21st-day relative organs masses were measured for assessing the pregnancy progress. The numbers of corpora lutea, implantation sites, live and dead fetuses and calculated pre-and-post implantation loss for appreciating the reproduction, and the fetuses’ masses for fetal development assessment, were recorded on the 21st day. Acute administration of the A. oligophyllus leaves aqueous extract (2000 mg/kg) did not cause any death or adverse effect in non-pregnant female rats. The LD50 was estimated higher than 2000 mg/kg. Pregnancy and reproductive parameters did not vary significantly between plant extract-treated rats and control. However, although fetal development parameters did not change significantly between the groups, the percentages of small (SGA) and large (LGA) pups for the gestational age were higher in rats treated with the dose extract of 200 mg/kg, compared to control (20 and 11%, respectively). Current data showed that the A. oligophyllus leaves aqueous extract does not impair motherhood and reproduction. Nevertheless, limitation of the dose is recommended during treatment in pregnant women to avoid adverse effect on fetal development.
Key words: Angylocalyx oligophyllus, toxic effects, pregnancy, embryo-fetal development.
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