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Effect of Acute Exposure of Belladonna Mother Tincture on Zebrafish Embryonic Development

Author(s): Mahima Sharma, S. Prajapati, A. Kumar, A. Tripathi, V. N. K. Godlaveti and P. Gupta*
Department of Pharmacology, Dr. D P Rastogi Central Research Institute of Homeopathy, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301, 1Department of Biology, Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Ministry of Home Affairs, Kharadi, Maharashtra 411014, 2Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi 110054, 3Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute For Homoeopathy, Kolkata, West Bengal 700035, India

Correspondence Address:
P. Gupta, Department of Pharmacology, Dr. D P Rastogi Central Research Institute of Homeopathy, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301, India

Atropa belladonna is a highly poisonous plant which contains variety of active alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine and many others. In homeopathy, its preparation is used to cure a number of health conditions such as baby teething, pain or infection and many others. However, due to its toxic nature and adverse teratogenic effect, it is important to investigate the possible toxicity and safety level of belladonna mother tincture. In this study, zebrafish embryos were used to evaluate fetal embryo toxicity of the belladonna mother tincture. Briefly, eggs were exposed to different concentration (1, 5 and 10 %) of belladonna mother tincture and ethyl alcohol for 1 h. Different parameters like mortality, hatching rate, somites, tail detachment and morphological malformations were recorded till 72 h of post fertilisation and behaviour parameters were also recorded after 7 d post fertilisation. Results showed that exposure to belladonna mother tincture at higher concentration (5, 10 %) cause embryonic malformation including pericardial edema, increase in body length, eye width and heart rate, while decrease hatching rate with no effect on mortality. The behavioural parameters revealed that belladonna mother tincture increases the locomotor activity of larvae at its 1 % concentration rather than 5 and 10 % in comparison to control. In summary, belladonna mother tincture and alcohol may cause developmental embryonic changes at higher concentration while no major development changes were found at 1 %. Further developmental toxicity studies on animals need to be carried out to validate use of belladonna mother tincture clinically in low concentration or high dilution.s.

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