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Effect of aqueous ginger (<i>Zingiber officinale</i>) extract on sperm quality and haematology in lead acetate-treated male albino rats

Rita I. Odo
Edmund C. Mbegbu
Lawrence N. Anyanwu


Purpose: To evaluate the ameliorative effects of aqueous ginger extract on sperm quality and haematology in lead acetate-treated male albino rats.
Methods: Twenty-four male albino rats used for this study were randomly assigned to four groups (n = 6). Group 1 was the normal control. Lead acetate (4 mg/kg) was given to group 2 for 6 weeks. Lead acetate (4 mg/kg) and ginger (300 mg/kg) were given to group 4 simultaneously for 6  weeks, while group 4 was given lead acetate (4 mg/kg) for 6 weeks, and then, ginger (300 mg/kg) for another 6 weeks. Haematological parameters, including packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell (WBC) and red blood cell (RBC) counts, hemoglobin (Hb) concentration, and differential  leukocyte count were evaluated in blood obtained from the retrobulbal plexus of the rats.
Results: Sperm motility and viability were markedly lower (p < 0.05) in group 2, in comparison to groups 1 and 3, while sperm motility and viability in group 3 were similar, but differed from group 1 (p < 0.05). The sperm motility and sperm viability of groups 4 and 2 were comparable.  Haematological profile showed a marked reduction in the RBC of rats in group 2, when compared to those in groups 1 and 3. The WBC of group 2 was significantly higher than those of groups 1, 3 and 4 (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The results indicate that aqueous ginger extract has the potential to protect sperm quality and haematology in lead acetate treated male rats.

Keywords: Ginger, Lead acetate, Sperm quality, Haematology