Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Physiology 2015 (Cardiff, UK) (2015) Proc Physiol Soc 34, PC089

Poster Communications

Cellular mechanisms of saline extract of alligator pepper (Zingiberaceae aframomum melegueta) for specific protection against fetal macrosomia

M. Ebomoyi1


Introduction: Aqueous extract of Alligator pepper is known to reduce gestational weight gain and litter size in Sprague Dawley rats. This study was done to determine the underlying hormonal and cellular mechanisms of action. Methods: It was a controlled cross sectional intervention study with 45 female Sprague Dawley rats, which after acclimatization for two weeks, were allowed to mate with male rats for three days. Thereafter, the pregnant female rats were randomly allocated into three groups A, B and C with 15 rats in each group. These three major groups were further randomly divided into three subgroups so that each subgroup had 5 female rats. Rats in Group A were injected with 2ml of normal saline intraperitoneally on day 4. Rats in groups B and C were injected intraperitoneally with 6.7mg/Kg body weight and 13.4mg/ kg body weight of saline extract of Alligator Pepper respectively on day 4. All rats were euthanized by cervical dislocation on days 7, 14 and 21 respectively following chloroform anesthesia. Blood was collected by intra-ventricular aspiration and assayed for insulin levels using Insulin ELISA. The uteri of the rats were dissected to reveal the embryo/fetuses in their gestational uterine cavity. Glucose levels were estimated with glucometer on days 7, 14, and 21. Blood was collected by intra-ventricular puncture and assayed for insulin levels. Observed differences between control and experimental groups were subjected to tests of significance. Results: Alligator pepper treated pregnant rats had significantly higher serum glucose levels than control group. Low dose and high dose Alligator pepper depressed serum insulin levels in the experimental group on day 7 and days 7 and 14 respectively. Conclusion: Intraperitoneal injection of saline extract of Alligator pepper prevents first and second trimester hyper- insulinemia in pregnant Sprague Dawley rats.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements