Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa

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Sodium arsenite-induced reproductive toxicities in male Wistar rats: role of Tridax procumbens leaf extract

E.S. Samuel, M.A. Gbadegesin, S.E. Owumi, O.A. Odunola


The cytotoxic potentials of arsenicals are well documented. Efforts at the mitigation of such effects are ongoing. In the present study, the effects of ethanol leaf extract of Tridax procumbens (ELETP); a notable medicinal plant, on the reproductive toxicities of sodium arsenite were investigated. Thirty-two male wistar rats (80-100g) allotted equally into four groups (A-D) were used. Rats in Group A (control) were treated with diluted olive oil {1:1(v/v)} at 1 ml/kg body weight (bwt.); Group B: sodium arsenite (SA); 2.5 mg/kg (positive control); Group C: 100mg/kg ELETP; and Group D: 100mg/kg ELETP and 2.5 mg/kg SA. ELETP was administered daily for 14 days while SA only was given on days 7 and 14 respectively. Spermatozoa characterization, epididymal morphometry, testicular morphometry, and histology of the testes were assessed. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the mean values of volume of spermatozoa and spermatozoa viability in Groups B to D as compared to Group A. On the other hand, the mean values of spermatozoa motility and concentration in Groups B to D as compared to Group A was significantly reduced (p<0.05). The percentage mean values of spermatozoa morphological characteristics observed in all the groups were found to be within the range of 10% to 20%. Furthermore, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the mean values of both testicular and epididymal morphometry in Groups B to D as compared to Group A. Sodium arsenite caused pathological effects on the testicular interstitial and germinal cells in Group B. However, these toxic effects were reversed in Group D. The ELETP seem toxic to the sperm cells rather than epididymal and testicular morphology, caution should therefore be exercised on the therapeutic application of Tridax procumbens in man and as feed for animals.

Keywords:  Tridax procumbens, arsenite, sperm characteristics, morphology, histology

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