African Health Sciences

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Effects of aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera seed on cadmium-induced reproductive toxicity in male Wistar rats

Olawale O Obembe, Yunus Raji


Bacground: Moringa oleifera seeds have been reported to increase sexual activity of male rats but its mechanism of action remains unknown.

Objective: Cadmium is a heavy metal that induces reproductive toxicity. To elucidate its possible mechanisms of action, the effects of aqueous extract of Moringa seeds (AEMS) on Cadmium-induced reproductive damage were investigated.
Methods: Thirty male rats (180-200g, n=5) were grouped as follows: Control, Cadmium (2mg/kg), AEMS (100 and 500mg/kg), Cadmium+100mg/kg AEMS and Cadmium+500mg/kg AEMS. Single intraperitoneal dose of Cadmium was administered while AEMS was given daily (p.o) for 6 weeks and thereafter sacrificed by cervical dislocation. Sperm variables were examined microscopically while serum was analysed for sex hormones and antioxidants, testicular and epididymal total protein from tissue homogenate. Data were analysed using Students t-test and ANOVA.
Results: Cadmium caused significant decrease in sperm variables. The AEMS decreased sperm motility, count and testosterone. These declines were dose dependent. Total testicular protein was significantly lowered by AEMS but total epididymal protein was not affected. Serum catalase and SOD was reduced by AEMS while MDA increased.
Conclusion: Moringa seeds may exhibit male reproductive toxicity, as observed from its deleterious effect on androgen and sperm variables. It failed to prevent cadmium-induced alteration in reproductive variables and serum antioxidants.

Keywords: Aqueous extract, Moringa oleifera seed, cadmium-induced reproductive toxicity, male Wistar rats.

AJOL African Journals Online