Comparative morphophysiological evaluation of the testis of adult Wistar rats fed low protein-energy diet and dosed with aqueous extracts of Cuscuta australis
Summary: Cuscuta australis (C. australis) seed and stem are historically used by the local population as dietary supplement for the management of infertility. This study, therefore, evaluated the effect of orally administered aqueous extracts of C. australis seed and stem, 300mg/kg body weight/day for seven days, on the testis of the adult Wistar rat fed either low or normal protein-energy diets. The control group received water. The relative weight of the testis was non-significantly increased (p.0.05) in the Low Protein-energy diet-Water-treated (LPWA), Low Protein-energy diet-Seed-treated (LPSE) and Normal Protein-energy diet-Seed-treated (NPSE) groups relative to the Normal Protein-energy diet-Water-treated (NPWA). The weight of the testis was also non-significantly increased (p.0.05) in the Low Protein-energy diet-Stem-treated (LPST), but decreased in the Normal Protein-energy diet-Stem-treated (NPST), relative to LPWA and NPWA. Heights of germinal epithelium were significantly decreased (p<0.05) in the LPWA, LPSE and LPST relative to the NPWA, NPSE and NPST. Diet significantly influenced (p<0.001) the effect of stem extract on the height of germinal epithelium. The NPSE, LPSE, NPST, LPST and LPWA showed significantly decreased (p<0.001) plasma levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) relative to NPWA. The LPWA, LPSE and NPST also showed significantly decreased (p<0.001) levels of testosterone relative to NPWA and LPST. Diet significantly influenced (p<0.001) the effect of seed on the level of LH. Seed-diet interactions significantly affected the levels of FSH (p<0.001) and LH (p<0.05), but not testosterone. Diet significantly influenced (p<0.001) the effects of stem extract on the levels of FSH, LH and testosterone. Stem-diet interactions significantly affected (p<0.001) the levels of FSH, LH and testosterone. Our data suggest that the aqueous extract of C. australis stem is more potent than the seed extract and that dietary protein-energy intake may influence the efficacy of orally administered aqueous extracts of C. australis.
Keywords: Cuscuta australis, Protein-energy malnutrition, Testis, Plasma luteinizing hormone, Follicle stimulating hormone, Testosterone