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Effect of Vernonia amygdalina Del ethanolic extract on Serum prolactin in lactating and non lactating female albino Wistar rats

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dept. of Veterinary Physiology, Pharmacology and Biochemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, NIGERIA
  • 2 Departmemt of Biochemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, NIGERIA
  • 3 Departmemt of Veterinary Physiology, Pharmacology and Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, NIGERIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 5, Issue (11), Pages 40-45, November,18 (2015)


Ethanolic crude extract of Vernonia amygdalina was fractionated into six (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, and F6). The different fractions were subjected to in vitro screening to provide preliminary observations required to select the crude plant extract with best contractile properties for further investigations. Using physiograph mammary tissue contractile amplitudes were determined at 0.25 mg/ml, 0.3 mg/ml, 0.7 mg/ml, 1.0mg/ml, 1.25mg/ml and 1.5mg/ml for the different fractions. Fraction F5 had the best contractile response on isolated mammary tissue in the presence of agonist ACh. F5 was used for further studies on prolactin. For the non lactating animals study, the adult female rats were placed in five groups of three rats each with group 1 as control and were given 20% DMSO and group II, III and IV were the test groups. The test groups received 40 mg/kg, 80 mg/kg and 120 mg/kg body weights respectively. Group V was the positive control group and was given 0.1 g of oxytocin. For the lactation study, the animals were kept in different cages following parturition. They were also placed in five groups of three animals each but in separate cages with their litters. Group 1 was the control while group II, III and IV were the test groups. Group V was also the positive control. Treatment doses also were the same as in non lactating groups. After 5 days of administration of F5, the serum prolactin concentrations were measured. The non lactating serum prolactin level of group 1 (2.30.05 ng/ml) was significantly (p<0.5) less than in group II (1.60.05 ng/ml), group III (1.430.16 ng/ml) and group IV (1.130.18 ng/ml). Group V, slightly reduced the level of serum prolactin which was not statistically significant (2.060.06 ng/ml). The lactating prolactin serum levels of group I (13.500.04 ng/ml) was significantly (P <0.5) higher than in group II (14.820.12 ng/ml), group III (17.370.31 ng/ml) and group IV (19.200.49 ng/ml). Group V showed a significant ( P< 0.5) decrease in serum prolactin concentration (12.620.13 ng/ml).The contractile extract fraction (F5) reduced prolactin level in non lactating rats but increase it significantly during lactation in dose dependent fashion. This supports the claims of using the extract to enhance milk production after parturition.


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