In the present work, the toxic and teratogenic activities of the Tinospora cordifolia leaves and bark extracts were examined in zebrafish embryo model. Embryos at segmentation phase were exposed to the varying concentrations of extracts and the mortality, hatchability, heartbeat rate, and teratogenic effects were determined. Results revealed that the embryo-toxic effects of the extracts were found dependent on dose and time of exposure. Among the two extracts, 5% and 10% of leaves extract recorded the highest mortality of 100% while bark extract showed mortality of 11.11% and 33.33% at 5% and 10% concentrations, respectively. Hatching was completed at 48 hours post treatment exposure in control embryos, 0.01% of leaves extract-treated embryos, and 0.1% or lower concentrations of bark extract-treated embryos. Control embryos significantly recorded the highest heartbeat rate of 167.00 per minute while treated embryos showed significant decreased in heartbeat rate in the increasing concentration of both extracts. The different teratogenic effects of T. cordifolia in zebrafish embryo include head and tail malformations, delayed growth, limited movement, scoliosis/flexure, and stunted tail and these are dose- and plant parts-dependent. Despite of the various bioactivities of T. cordifolia, extracts of this plant also exhibit embryo-toxic and teratogenic effects in the developing embryos of zebrafish.
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