ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Effects of Croton menyharthii and Uvariodendron kirkii extracts on ovarian corpora lutea and reproductive hormones.

Catherine Kaluwa Kaingu , Jemimah Achieng Oduma, James Mucunu Mbaria, Stephen Gitahi Kiama

Catherine Kaluwa Kaingu
University of Nairobi. Email: kaingucatherine@gmail.com

Jemimah Achieng Oduma
University of Nairobi

James Mucunu Mbaria
University of Nairobi

Stephen Gitahi Kiama
University of Nairobi
Online First: April 15, 2017 | Cite this Article
Kaingu, C., Oduma, J., Mbaria, J., Kiama, S. 2017. Effects of Croton menyharthii and Uvariodendron kirkii extracts on ovarian corpora lutea and reproductive hormones.. Discovery Phytomedicine 4(2): 21-25. DOI:10.15562/phytomedicine.2017.41


Uvariodendron kirkii and Croton menyharthii are traditionally used as fertility regulators in Kenya. The rapidly increasing population has put a strain on the limited resources and poses serious challenge to national planning. The aim of the study was to validate the traditional claims by investigating the effect of root bark extract of both plants on reproductive hormones and ovarian structures. Twenty five mature normocyclic female winstar rats were used. Group 1 consisted of 5 animals that acted as control. Group 2 and 3 with 5 animals each; received 500 and 800mg/Kg Croton menyharthii respectively on alternative days for 28 days through intra- abdominal gavage. Group 4 and 5 were treated in a similar manner but received Uvariodendron kirkii aqueous extract. Serum was harvested from all animals on 28th day and hormone levels determined. Left ovaries were harvested and processed for histomorphology. Both Croton menyharthii and Uvariodendron kirkii caused a significant increase of progesterone in a dose dependent manner. Croton menyharthii extracts caused a degeneration of corpora lutea. At 800mg/kg Croton menyharthii caused a significant increase in corpora lutea numbers but a decline in size. Uvariodendron kirkii caused hypertrophy and a significant increase in corpora lutea numbers. Enhanced/ hypertrophied corpora lutea possibly led to high levels of progesterone seen, interfered with the implantation window due to disrupted hormonal milieu thereby leading to compromised fertility and implantation index. The study validates the traditional use of the plant in fertility regulation. We suggest further investigation on these potential plants to address the call for novel contraceptive drugs.
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