The Effect of Hydro-alcoholic Extract of Leaves of Vitex on the Gestation Indices of Male Rats

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Pharmacology; Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran (IAUPS).

2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran- Iran

3 Department of basic sciences Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran (IAUPS).

4 Herbal Medicines Research Center, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran-Iran (HMRC)

5 Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran (IAUPS).

Abstract

Background: Phytoestrogens are some plant compounds with estrogenic biological effects which are found in many nutritional sources as soybean, flaxseed, and sesame. Vitex agnus-castus, also called Vitex, owns  phytoestrogen properties. Studies have shown that phytoestrogens have different impacts on the gestation process and reproduction indices.
Objective: The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of Vitex extract on the gestation indices in the male rat as well as studying its histological properties in the rat testicles.
Materials and Methods: The hydro-alcoholic extract of Vitex (in three doses of 165, 265 and 365 mg/kg), vehicle (normal saline) and the hydro-alcoholic powder of soybean (120 mg/kg) were respectively given to understudy, vehicle and positive control groups for 49 days. After weighing the rats in the 1st and 49th days, the blood samples of all groups were taken and tested for estradiol levels, testosterones, FSH and LH. Moreover, such reproductive indices as sperm count, sperm motion, and prostate and testicle weight were  studied and samples were collected for histological studies.
Results: Prescription of the hydro-alcoholic extract of Vitex (in three doses of 165, 265 and 365 mg/kg) did not change the rat’s weight, significantly (P-value= 0.06). Hormonal studies reduced the progesterone, LH, and FSH compared to the vehicle group, significantly (P-value<0.05). In addition, the amount of estradiol was significantly more than the vehicle group and the most effect was observed at a dose of 365 mg/kg (P-value=0.02). Histological studies showed a reduction in existing spermatozoa in the seminiferous ducts.
Conclusions: This study had shown that the Vitex extract had inhibiting effects on the gestation indices in male rat and due to its destructive effects on the testicle tissues, more studies were required.

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