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Keywords:

  • Alstonia scholaris;
  • teratogen;
  • syndactyly;
  • bent tail;
  • growth retardation

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The teratogenic effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Alstonia scholaris (ASE) was studied in the pregnant Swiss albino mice administered with 0, 60, 120, 240, 360, and 480 mg/kg ASE on Day 11 of gestation. METHODS: Females were allowed to complete the term and parturiate. The litters were monitored regularly for mortality, growth retardation, congenital malformations, and appearance of physiological markers up to 7 weeks post-parturition (p.p.). RESULTS: The administration of 60, 120, 180, and 240 mg/kg ASE to the pregnant mice on Day 11 did not induce mortality, congenital malformations, or alter the normal growth patterns. A further increase in the herbal extract dose up to 360 or 480 mg/kg resulted in a dose dependent increase in the mortality, growth retardation, and congenital malformations, characterized mainly by bent tails and syndactyly. The administration of higher doses (360 or 480 mg) of ASE also caused a significant delay in the morphological parameters such as fur development, eye opening, pinna detachment, and vaginal opening. The incisor eruption and testes decent were found to be delayed in litters born to the mothers treated with 240–480 mg/kg ASE.CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates clearly that ASE treatment caused teratogenic effect only at doses above 240 mg/kg (>20% of LD50). Lower doses had no developmental toxicity. Birth Defects Res B 68:472–478, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.