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Nuha M.E. Agabna*, Sania A.I. Shaddad, AbdulKhalig Mudathir, Affaf I Abulgassim and Sami Kalid


Abrus precatorius, family Fabaceae, is used in many parts of the world as contraceptive and abortifacient. This study was conducted to determine effects on uterine contraction, estrous cycle, serum levels of reproductive hormones, ovarian and uterine weights, and subsequent effects on histology. Method: The non-pregnant isolated rat uterus was subjected to the extract to determine effect on contractility. Eighteen regularly cycling female albino rats weighing 130-170g were selected, and divided into three groups of six each; one control receiving normal saline orally 10ml/kg once daily. The second and third groups received the ethanol seeds extract at doses of 20 and 40 mg/kg orally once daily for two weeks while observing the estrous cycle. After two weeks from the last dose animals were examined to see if the cycle was normal. Another group of 18 normally cycling rats was divided as above and given the extracts for two weeks; 24hrs from the last dose blood was collected for hormonal assay. Animals were sacrificed under light ether anesthesia; uteri and ovaries were quickly removed and weighed in a sensitive balance, then preserved in formal saline to prepare histological slides later. Results: The extract produced significant uterine contraction. The estrous cycle was extended to 5.07 ± 0.2, and 5.37 ± 0.4 days in the 20 and 40 mg/kg extract groups respectively compared to 4.2 ± 0.2 days in the control group. Proestrus, estrus and diestrus stages were significantly longer (p < 0.05) in both treated groups. The cycles returned to normal after stopping the doses. The serum levels of progesterone were less than those in the control group, however, the reduction was not statistically significant. The weight of the ovaries (p <0.05) and uteri was reduced. Histopathological study showed fewer and degenerated follicles, and reduced uterine lumen with fewer glands. Conclusion: The ethanol seed extract of Abrus precatorius causes strong uterine contraction, disrupts the estrous cycle reversibly, and reduces the progesterone levels.

Keywords: Antifertility, uterotonic, A. precatorius, progesterone, ovaries.

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