Background: Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a commonly used food additive and there is growing concern that this may play a critical role in the aethiopathogenesis of anovulatory infertility.
Objectives: The effect of monosodium glutamate (MSG) used as food additive on the ovaries of adult Wistar rat was investigated.
Methods: Adult female Wistar rats (n=24) weighing between 182 to 186grams were randomly assigned into three groups A, B and C of (n=8) in each group. The treatment groups (A and B) were given 0.04mg/kg body weight and 0.08mg/kg of monosodium glutamate thoroughly mixed with the grower's marsh, respectively on a daily basis. The control group (C); received equal amount of feeds (Growers' mash) without monosodium glutamate added for fourteen days. The grower's mash was obtained from Edo Feeds and Flour Mill Ltd, Ewu, Edo State and the rats were given water liberally. The rats were sacrificed on day fifteen of the experiment. The ovaries were carefully dissected out and quickly fixed in 10% formal saline for routine histological procedures.
Results: The histological findings in the treated groups showed evidence of cellular hypertrophy, degenerative and atrophic changes with more severe changes in the group that received 0.08mg/kg of MSG.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that MSG may have some deleterious effects on the oocytes of the ovaries of adult Wistar rats at higher doses and by extension may contribute to the causes of female infertility. It is recommended that further studies aimed at corroborating these findings be carried out.