Contraceptive, estrogenic and anti-estrogenic potentials of methanolic root extract of Carpolobia lutea in rodents.
Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Oct ;24(4):445-9. PMID: 21959803
Ette Okon Ettebong
Several plants are used in herbal medicine for family planning. Carpolobia lutea is a medicinal plant in South Eastern Nigeria used for family planning. The study was designed to investigate the contraceptive, estrogenic and antiestrogenic potentials of the methanolic root extract of Carpolobia lutea in both rats and mice. The contraceptive effect of extract (7 - 21mg/kg) administered by intraperitoneal route for four days in divided doses was tested in mice and rats. Sexually-active males were introduced on day 5 at the ratio of 3F:1M and kept with these females till the end of the experiment. Investigations on the estrogenic and antiestrogenic property of the extract (7-21mg/kg) were done in immature rats that had undergone surgical removal of both ovaries. The effects of the extract (vaginal opening, vaginal cornification, uterine wet weight) were compared with 17-beta-estradiol (0.1µg/rat/day) as standard drug. Twenty-four hours later, the animals were sacrificed following the last dose and the weights of uterus, kidney, liver and small intestine were recorded. The extract prevented conception in both mice and rats for two gestational periods. Significant changes (p<0.05-0.001) were observed in the length and weight of pups relative to control. There were no abnormalities observed in the pups over thirty days. In ovariectomized immature young rats, the extract showed estrogenic effect (vaginal opening, vaginal cornification and increased uterine wet weight) in low doses while in high doses, it showed anti-estrogenic effect. These findings agree with the traditional use of Carpolobia lutea in the control of fertility. The contraceptive property of the extract may be associated with the direct effects of its chemical constituents.