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Wageningen Universiteit (2003)

Plants and lactation : from tradition to the mechanism of action

Lompo-Ouedraogo, Z

Titre : Plants and lactation : from tradition to the mechanism of action

Auteur : Lompo-Ouedraogo, Z

Université de soutenance : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 2003

In most African communities, failure to lactate, like failure to ovulate, means failure to reproduce. Thus plant extracts are being used by African women to induce or stimulate milk production. An ethnobotanical survey has been carried out in the northern, central, eastern and southern parts of Burkina Faso. In total 79 informants (healers and village elders) and 217 users from 22 villages were interviewed. This survey shows that the use of plants during lactation is common and that the indigenous people have a remarkable knowledge of species and their use as crude drugs. Ethnobotanical data on 90 plant species belonging to 40 families, including medical use and traditional practices, were collected. Agalactia is the most common pathology after parturition, since 34% of the plants are used for induction of lactation. This survey pointed out seven species including Pennisetum americanum, Vitellaria paradoxa, Cadaba farinosa, Leptadenia hastata, Capsicum frutescens, Crateva adansonii, Acacia nilotica sspa dansoniit ob e widely usedb y women. The first six species are commonly used in human alimentation, albeit the latter appeared to be frequently used together with other plants for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases. Despite the widespread use of Acacia nilotica ssp adansonii in folk medicine, littlei sk nown about itsa ctualp harmacological mechanism. In view of thet raditional belief thatA cacia niloticas spa dansonii( AN) can stimulate milk production in lactating women, experiments were performed to determine the effect of an aqueous extract of AN on milk production in the rat. Female rats that received the AN extract orally during their first lactation, produced about 59% more milk causing an increase inp up growth compared to that in controls (P<0.01).P rolactin (PRL) isk nown to stimulate milk synthesis and secretion. Experiments were performed in peri-pubertal and adult virgin female rats to investigate the effect of AN on PRL synthesis and release. A strong relation between AN administration and PRL release after "acute" and "chronic" treatment has been observed in cycling female rats treated intravenously. PRL synthesis was also stimulatedb y ANe xtract inb oth adult andp eri-pubertal animals albeit that int he latter group, estradiol-priming was needed for an efficient effect. The treatment with AN extract results in increased lobulo-alveolar structure development, filled with basophilic secretions and suppression oft het erminal endb ud development. AN extract stimulates the mammary gland growth and differentiation from the least differentiated structures to fully developed alveoli, showing active milk production. The mechanisms via which these processes occurred have been investigated. Thet reatment with bromocriptine (CB154), an agonist of dopamine significantly lowered pituitary- and plasma PRL levels compared to controls. A significant increase of pituitary PRL was observed in the group with 3g AN+CB154 as compared to CB154 alone although no significant change was found in plasma PRL. These results indicate that the AN-extract acts by stimulating the synthesis and release of PRL and probably other hormones, which in turn stimulate growth and differentiation of the mammary gland. AN-extract may also act directly on the mammary gland by stimulating the synthesis of milk components. Nevertheless further research is needed to elucidate thep ossible mechanism of action of AN-extract.

Mots clés : lactating women - lactation - milk production - plant extracts - stimulation - ethnobotany - animal experiments - pharmacology - physiology - medicine - burkina faso

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Page publiée le 14 septembre 2007, mise à jour le 3 juin 2022