Table of Contents
International Journal of Brain Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 394847, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/394847
Research Article

Calabash Chalk's Geophagy Affects Gestating Rats' Behavior and the Histomorphology of the Cerebral Cortex

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Uyo, PMB 1017, Uyo, Nigeria
2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, PMB 1115, Calabar, Nigeria
3Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, PMB 1115, Calabar, Nigeria

Received 20 June 2013; Revised 4 October 2013; Accepted 28 October 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Jose R. Perez-Polo

Copyright © 2014 Moses B. Ekong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Calabash chalk contains heavy metals, and this lead to this study on the effect of this chalk on the behavior and the histomorphology of the cerebral cortex of gestating rats. Material & Methods. 24 female rats were equally divided into 4 groups and were mated at preostrous with the males. The day after mating was designated as day 1 of gestation. On gestation days 7–20, groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 animals were treated with 1 mL of distilled water, and 1 mL (200 mg/kg), 2 mL (400 mg/kg), and 3 mL (600 mg/kg) of calabash chalk suspension, respectively. On pregnancy day 21, behavioral tests using the open field and the light/dark mazes were carried out and the animals subsequently euthanized and their brains were routinely processed. Results. There was no difference in ambulatory activities, but group 4 animals had more ( ) transition frequency and were more averse to the dark in the light and dark field, while sections of the cerebral cortex showed a higher ( ) cellular population, hypertrophied pyramidal cells, and vacuolations in the treatment groups. Conclusion. Calabash chalk may have anxiolytic effect especially at high dose in the light and dark field but not in the open field and can stimulate maternal cerebral cortical cellular changes.