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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2002 Jun;9(2):95-8.

Abortifacient properties of aqueous extract of Carica papaya (Linn) seeds on female Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Lagos, Nigeria.


Experiments were conducted to investigate the abortifacient potential of aqueous extract of Carica papaya (Linn) seeds in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Oral doses of 100 and 800 mg/kg body weight were administered once a day on days 1-10 post-coitum. No significant differences in total body weight were found in foetuses exposed to these regimes. However, in the group treated with 100 mg/kg body weight, there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the implantation sites and foetal weight was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) compared to the controls. No dead or malformed foetuses were found. However, in the group treated with 800 mg/kg body weight, there was obvious vaginal bleeding but no treatment related increase in implantation sites compared with control. There was however, complete resorption of about 30% of the foetuses. The surviving foetuses were stunted when compared with the control but were without any external malformations. The results of the present investigations lead to the clear conclusion that low dose aqueous crude extract of Carica papaya (Linn) seeds does not adversely affect prenatal development. The altered toxicological profile indicates that the abortifacient property is a high dose side effect. The results indicate that Carica papaya toxicity can adversely affect the foetus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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