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Reversible antifertility effect of aqueous rhizome extract of Curcuma longa L. in male laboratory mice

      Abstract

      Background

      The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the antifertility potential of Curcuma longa L. in the male laboratory mouse.

      Study Design

      Mice of the Parkes (P) strain were orally administered aqueous rhizome extract of C. longa (600 mg/kg body weight per day for 56 and 84 days), and effect of the treatment on various male reproductive endpoints and fertility was evaluated. Recovery studies were also performed.

      Results

      Histologically, testes in mice treated with the plant extract showed nonuniform degenerative changes in the seminiferous tubules as both affected and normal tubules were observed in the same section; the affected tubules showed loosening of germinal epithelium, intraepithelial vacuolation and mixing of spermatids of different stages of spermatogenesis. Marked reductions in diameter of seminiferous tubules, height of germinal epithelium and number of germ cells in Stage VII tubules were also noted in testes of extract-treated mice. Epididymis and seminal vesicle also showed histological alterations. Furthermore, the treatment had adverse effects on motility, viability, morphology and number of spermatozoa in the cauda epididymidis, levels of sialic acid in the epididymis and fructose in the seminal vesicle, serum level of testosterone and on fertility and litter size. By 56 days of treatment withdrawal, however, the above parameters recovered to control levels.

      Conclusions

      The results show that in P mice C. longa treatment causes reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility, thereby suggesting the potential of this plant in the regulation of male fertility.

      Keywords

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