Title : 17-?-hydroxyprogesterone caproate improves female African giant rats (Cricetomys gambianus) fertility in captivity
African giant rat is widely consumed in tropical African country as a meat source. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of 17-α- hydroxyprogesterone caproate (HPC) on female African giant rats (FAGR) fertility in captivity. After mating confirmation by the observation of spermatozoa in vaginal smears, mated females were assigned to three groups of 16 animals. They were housed singly and had free access to water and feed. Groups 2 and 3 received daily an intramuscular injection of 16 and 20 mg/kg.bw of HPC respectively, in a volume of 0.3ml while group 1 received a ricin oil at 0.3ml/kg.bw. Injections stated at day 3 and ended at day 27 post coitus. At day fifteen, eight rats per group were sacrificed and the remaining female rats of each group was observed until the parturition. Main results showed a significant reduction (P<0.05) in the rate of pre (9.82±5.11%; 23.55±9.95%; 47.29±16.66%) and post (13.75±6.94%; 14.49±4.03%; 58.33±26.72%) implantation embryo losses and stillbirth rate (3.57±1.12%; 0.00±0.00%; 8.33±3.74%) in 16 and 20 mg/kg HPC- treated FAGR compared to the control. The rate of implanted embryos (91.73±09.59; 76.44±09.95; 52.70±16.66), fertile mating rate (100.00±00%; 87.50±23.14%; 50.00±26.72) and litter size (7.00±0.92; 5.83±0.63; 3.25±0.32) significantly increased in females treated with 16 and 20 mg/kg of HPC (P<0.05) compared to the control, respectively. In conclusion, HPC administration improved fertility of FAGR, with best reproductive performances at dose of 16 mg/kg.