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Vitamin e improves growth rate and reproductive functions in female rats exposed to nicotine

Authors:TA Okewumi, EG Edoh, ST Shittu, FB Oyeyemi, PC Ugwuezumba , WA Oyeyemi
Int J Biol Med Res. 2012; 3(2): 1715 – 1719  |  PDF File


This study investigates the effect of vitamin E on the deleterious effects of nicotine on female reproductive functions in rats. 56 albino wistar rats (42 female, 14 male) were used for the study. The female rats with synchronized ovulation were randomly selected into 7 groups. Group 1 received 0.2ml normal saline (control), groups 2 and 3 received 0.5mg/kg and 1.0mg/kg of nicotine respectively, group 4 received 0.5mg/kg of nicotine with 10mg/kg of vitamin E, group 5 received 1.0mg/kg nicotine and 10mg/kg Vitamin E, groups 6 and 7 were recovery for groups 2 and 3 respectively. All administrations were done orally. The weights of the female animals were monitored weekly throughout the experiment. At the 31st day, male rats were introduced to female in ratio 1:3 and treatments were discontinued in groups 6 and 7. The presence of sperm plug in vagina served as indicator for positive copulation and the day was taken as the first day of pregnancy. On the 13th day of pregnancy, animals in all groups were sacrificed and blood was collected for determination of plasma progesterone and estrogen levels. The brain, heart, kidney, liver, lungs, ovaries, uterine tube and vagina were harvested and weighed. Uterus was dissected to count the number of implantation sites. There was a significant reduction in body growth rate in the high dose nicotine treated group. Heart, lungs and vagina of all nicotine only treated groups were significantly decreased in weight when compared with the control. Also implantation sites were significantly decreased in both the nicotine treated rats and their recovery groups. The ratios of plasma estrogen to progesterone were significantly increased in nicotine groups, their recovery groups and high dose of nicotine with vitamin E when compared with control. In conclusion, vitamin E was able to minimize the deleterious effects of nicotine on body weight, reproductive organs and implantation in female.