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1- University of Ibadan

Erythrophleum ivorense (EI) is a tree found across tropical Africa. The bark of EI is widely used as hunting poisons for animals and ordeal poison in humans. Ingestion of this plant causes paralysis, respiratory distress and amnesia. In folklore, these behavioral changes have been attributed to guilt in victims; nonetheless, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this claim. Thus, there is a need to validate the mechanism of neurotoxicity and behavioral alteration of this plant.
Methods: Forty-eight BALB/c male mice were randomly divided into four groups. The test groups were administered aqueous extract of EI in a single daily dose of 5, 10 and 15 mg/kg bodyweight for 28 days while the control received distilled water. Motor coordination, learning, memory and grip strength was thereafter accessed with wire grip, Morris water maze and inverted wire mesh grid grip tests respectively. Histological staining of brain sections was also carried out.
At all tested doses, the aqueous extract of EI caused a significant reduction in hanging latency, significantly increased escape latency and decreased duration the target platform in the Morris water maze test compared to control.  Decreased grip strength was also observed in the test groups compared to control. Histology revealed dysmorphic and disoriented Purkinje cells and loss of Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum.
Erythrophleum ivorense administration altered motor coordination, learning and memory and grip strength in mice in a dose-dependent manner. It also caused disruption of granule cells layer, loss of Purkinje cells and altered cerebellar anatomy leading to motor deficits in mice.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2019/05/31 | Accepted: 2020/07/25

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