oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Antifertility effects of cowpeas on male rats

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) were fed to rats from weaning to 250 days. At the end of feeding trial and mating trials, histological studies were done on testicular and epididymal tissues. Out of the 10 rats from the cowpea fed group, only six had fertile matings. The average litter size for control rats was 13,7 ± 1,0, while for the cowpea fed group it was 8,2 ± 7,0. Histological studies showed severe degenerative changes in the testis and the presence of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) in the epididymis of the cowpea fed group, that did not have fertile matings. It is proposed that cowpeas may contain some factors that could have antifertility effects, although the nature of such factors was not the object of this study.

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