Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology

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Modifications in sperm quality of Wister Albino Rats by Ethanol Extract of Phyllanthus amarus (Schum. and Thonn)

HE Etta, EE Eneobong, EA Okon


The effect of a well known herb, Phyllanthus amarus on the sperm characteristics in male albino rats was studied. This was an investigation of the age-long claim by the locales in the rural communities in the southern states of Nigeria where this plant is consumed religiously that it affects sperm quality, hence sexual potency in males. Ethanol extract of P.amarus in graded doses of 70mg/kg, 140mg/kg and 210mg/kg BW were administered by oral gavage to the experimental animals for 14 days. Epidydymal sperm was collected and analyzed using standard procedures. Sperm analyses involved sperm count, sperm morphology test and sperm motility test. At the doses administered, P. amarus extract affected the sperm number, morphology and motility of treated animals. Epididymal sperm count and motility were significantly reduced (P6, groups II, III and IV rats had mean sperm counts of 4.56 x 106, 3.67 x 106 and 2.5 x 106 respectively. Sperm motility scores were 75.0%, 71.67%, 66.67% and 50.0% for group I (control), groups II ,III and IV respectively. Modified sperm morphologies were observed. The present investigation shows that at high doses, ethanol extract of P. amarus modifies sperm characteristic qualities in albino rats thus altering the reproductive functioning of the sperm cells, conferring antifertility properties on the rats. This proves that the claim that P. amarus affects sexual potency in man may be true. Further research in this regard is recommended.

Keywords: Sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, Phyllanthus amarus

Nig J. Biotech. Vol. 24 (2012) 54-57

AJOL African Journals Online