A histological evaluation of the action of Moringa oleifera on aspirin toxicity in rat testis
There is a decline in male fertility almost on a worldwide scale. The causes of this decline are yet to be fully elucidated. Scientific evidence points in several directions: infections, environmental toxicants and endocrine disrupters among others. Research is going on to identify the causes of this decline and find ways to control it. Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) is a widely used pharmaceutical agent used for pain and temperature control. It has been recently shown to be testiculotoxic. This study investigated the effects of aspirin on rat testis and the protective power of a water extract of the leaves of a notable medicinal plant, Moringa oleifera (MO) on this effect. 3 groups of albino rats were administered aspirin orally at 10 mg/kg for 30 days. Two of these groups received varying doses of the leaf extract of MO along with aspirin. Control groups received either distilled water or only the extract. Outcome measures were sperm parameters and histological profile of the testes. Aspirin caused a significant reduction in the key sperm parameters of total count, motility and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa. It also caused marked testicular germ cell atrophy among other evidence of histological damage. MO extract attenuated all deleterious effects of aspirin on the testes. Aspirin, if given at certain doses and duration can damage rat testes and disrupt spermatogenesis. MO joins the growing list of plants from which useful testiculo-protective materials can be sourced.
Key words: Sperm parameters; aspirin, Moringa oleifera, spermatogenesis.