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Suppression of fertility in male albino rats following the administration of 50% ethanolic extract of Aegle marmelos

      Abstract

      Background

      Plants have served as a natural source of antifertility substances. The reactivated interest in the evaluation of some lead plants for fertility prompted us to undertake studies on the antifertility potential of Aegle marmelos leaves.

      Study Design

      Fifty percent ethanolic extract from the leaves of A. marmelos (AMLEt) was prepared. The effect of A. marmelos leaf extract on the reproductive system of male albino rats was investigated at three different doses, namely, 100, 200 and 300 mg���1 kg ���1 day���1 for each rat for 60 days. Recovery was also investigated after a withdrawal of 120 days.

      Results

      All the major accessory sex organs shed weight postadministration of the extract. There was a marked reduction in motility and density of the sperm derived from cauda epididymis of the treated animals. A. marmelos reduced fertility of male rats by 100% at the 300-mg dose level. Serum testosterone levels also decreased significantly in all the experimental groups. The protein, glycogen and lipid peroxidation content of the testes was significantly reduced at the highest dose level; a highly significant increase in testicular cholesterol was observed along with a highly significant reduction in the sialic acid contents of testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles. Blood tests did not point to distress in any of the vital organs. Withdrawal of the extract restored all the altered parameters including organ weights, fertility, testosterone levels and tissue biochemistry to control levels after 120 days.

      Conclusions

      Taken together, it is inferred that the leaf extract of A. marmelos (AMLEt) suppresses fertility in male rats. Complete recovery of fertility was observed following the withdrawal of drug. Absence of any deleterious effect on the vital organs points to the safe use of the extract.

      Keywords

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