Open Access Research article

Effect of the aqueous extract of Senecio biafrae (Oliv. & Hiern) J. Moore on sexual maturation of immature female rat

Landry L Lienou1, Bruno P Telefo1*, Bayala Bale2, Didiane Yemele1, Richard S Tagne1, Stephanie C Goka1, Chantal M Lemfack1, Celestin Mouokeu1 and Paul F Moundipa3

Author Affiliations

1 University of Dschang, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry, P.O Box: 67 Dschang, Cameroon

2 University of Ouagadougou, UFR/SVT, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, 03 P.O. Box 7021, Ouagadougou 03 Burkina Faso, Africa

3 University of Yaounde I, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry, P.O Box: 812, Yaounde, Cameroon

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:36  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-36

Published: 6 April 2012



Senecio biafrae (Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant widely used by traditional healers in the western region of Cameroon for the treatment of female infertility. This experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of the aqueous extract from leaves and stems of S. biafrae (AESb) on the onset of puberty and some biochemical and physiological parameters of reproduction in immature Wistar female rats.


Different doses of AESb were daily and orally administered to immature female rats (13 animals/group) for 30 days. At the end of the treatment period, six animal of each experimental group were sacrificed and their body, ovarian, uterus weight; uterine, ovarian protein or cholesterol level as well as data on puberty onset recorded. The remaining animals of each group were used for the fertility test and some gestational parameters recorded.


A linear increase in the growth rate of all animals was observed. The body weight gain in animals treated at the dose of 8 mg/kg of AESb significantly increased (p < 0.05) after 25 days of treatment while those receiving the doses of 32 and 64 mg/kg presented a significantly low body weight gain starting from the 19th day till the end of the treatment period. The ages (days) of animals at vaginal opening (VO) was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in those treated with the doses of 32 (41.25 ± 0.51) and 64 mg/kg (41.42 ± 0.54) as compared to control animals (43.33 ± 0.73). AESb significantly increased (p < 0.05) the ovarian weight and the number of corpora lutea in animals treated with 8 mg/kg as well as the uterine weight and protein levels irrespective of the dose. No significant effect of the extract on various fertility and gestational parameters was registered.


The overall results of the present study provide evidence on the puberty onset induction and ovarian folliculogenesis effect of AESb in immature female rat.