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Aims: This study was designed to evaluate the male reproductive toxicity that may accompany treatment of hypertension in Wistar rats with methanol extracts of whole fruit of Lagenaria breviflora Roberty or corm of Xanthosoma sagittifolium Schott.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at the Animal House of the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology between November, 2016 and January, 2017.
Methodology: Antihypertensive study was carried out in 40 adult male Wistar rats equally and randomly distributed into 8 groups. First group was normotensive rats administered with distilled water, while hypertension was induced in groups 2-7 intraperitoneal administration of DOCA-salt twice weekly and daily inclusion of 1% sodium chloride in drinking water. Group 2 was hypertensive but untreated rats. Two hypertensive groups were administered with Lisinopril (5 mg/70 kg) or Hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 mg/70 kg). Two hypertensive groups were assigned to each extract and these rats were administered with the extracts at doses of 100 or 200 mg/kg body weight. The rats were treated per os for 5 weeks and sacrificed at the end of this period. The testes were harvested and semen samples were obtained from the left cauda epididymis. Semen analysis were carried out to determine sperm morphology and characteristics.
Results: Result showed 1 primary and 7 secondary sperm abnormality types were observed with a non-significant (p>0.05) increase in total abnormal sperm cells. Live/dead ratio and sperm volume were unchanged but, sperm motility and count were significantly (p<0.05) reduced.
Conclusion: It was inferred from the study that hypertension in itself induced infertility and also treatment of the medical condition with the extracts of L. breviflora or X. sagittifolium did not reverse the infertility. Therefore, caution should be exercised when treating hypertension with these medicinal plants, particularly in male animals used for breeding.