Fertility and General Reproductive Performance

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This study is designed to assess the potential toxic effects of a test substance on gonad function and mating behavior in both male and female animals, as well as conception rates, early and late stages of gestation, labor, lactation, and development of offspring.66

In our experiments we used rats and mice. Males were fed Spirulina for 9 weeks while females were fed for 2 weeks before mating, and feeding continued afterward and throughout gestation. Every day females were housed overnight with males from the same treatment group, until mating was confirmed by the presence of a vaginal plug. During the study, bodyweight, mating performance, and pregnancy rates were recorded. After killing the animals, the ovaries and uteri were examined to determine the number of corpora lutea and implantations. The number of dead fetuses and resorptions were also counted. After external examination, fetuses were examined for visceral and skeletal anomalies.

As shown in Table 2.3 treatment was not associated with any adverse effects in any measure of reproductive performance, including male and female fertility and duration of gestation and, except for isolated results with no toxicology significance, did not result in adverse effects on fetus developmental markers.67,68

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