Background: Momordica charantia
) seed has been supposed to have an antifertility property but mechanisms underlying the infertility effect have not been investigated.
We investigated the antifertility effect of M. charantia
ethanol seed extracts on reproductive toxicology and seminal and plasma testosterone in male Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods:
The control group (I) was provided daily 1 ml dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and the experimental groups II and III were given daily 400 and 800 mg dry matter/kg body weight of the extracts dissolved in 1 ml DMSO via the esophageal route. All groups were administered for 42 days (day 42). Changes in body weight, fertility, reproductive characteristics, testicular histopathology and levels of seminal and plasma testosterone among three groups were compared.
On day 42, the extracts caused antifertility (p=0.001). The extracts demonstrated significant reductions in diameters of seminiferous tubules and epididymides, spermatid density, daily sperm production and caudal epididymal spermatozoa, sperm motility and viability (p=0.046). Pathological changes in seminiferous tubules revealed atrophy, desquamation, pyknosis nucleus and multinucleated giant cell. Plasma cells were evident in three parts of epididymides of rats treated with high dose of the extract. Furthermore, the high dose of the extract suppressed seminal testosterone level (p=0.001) and plasma testosterone level (p=0.002).
Our data showed that high dose of M. Charantia
seed extracts caused infertility in male rats. The interruption in their fertility was probably attributed to the direct toxic to seminiferous tubules, epididymis and the lowered testosterone level which might impact on sperm parameters.