Effects of chloroquine on some aspects of reproduction in rodents

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Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug which is used extensively in treatment of falciparum malaria in tropical countries including Ghana. Eicosanoids which are metabolites of arachidonic acid have various roles in physiological processes of the body. The present investigation is to test the hypothesis that administration of chloroquine, a phospholipase A2 inhibitor, to albino mice and Wistar rats would reveal any possible interference with aspects of the normal processes of reproduction. Different doses of chloroquine, equivalent by weight to human adult doses of 2.5 mg/kg, 5.0 mg/kg and 10.0mg/kg were given to the rodents. The doses of 10.0mg/kg impaired the processes of reproduction. The dose of 5.0mg/kg was more or less a threshold dose as different experimental animals gave different reactions. The male animals had their sperm counts reduced. The non-pregnant female animals had degenerated ovum and endometrium in the pregnant female animals, the drug caused under developed foetuses and abortion. The significant importance of the eicosanoids in reproduction is clearly established. Thus chloroquine should be used with extreme caution during reproductive years.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Reproductive Biology, 1998