Aim: The study was designed to determine the effect of methanolic leave extract of Jatropha gossypifolia on semen characteristics in Wistar rats.
Methods: Twenty-five male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups (A, B, C, D and E) comprising 5 rats each. Rats in group A served as control, and were administered distilled water per os for 21 days, while rats in groups B, C, D and E were administered oral 100, 300, 500 and 1000 mg/kg bodyweight of Jatropha gossypifolia leaf extract for 21 days, respectively. At the end of the treatment period, the rats were humanly sacrificed and semen was collected by open castration and evaluated.
Results: There was a dose dependent decrease in the mass activity, sperm motility, sperm concentration and percentage live sperm cells of the treated groups. These were significantly (p<0.05) different from the control group except group B. Percentage abnormalities characterized by detached head, double head, curved head, giant head, coiled tail, curved tail and curved mid-piece were seen during the study. These abnormalities were significantly (p<0.05) higher in the treated groups (C – E) than the control.
Conclusion: It was concluded from the study that Jatropha gossypifolia leave extract above 100 mg/kg is capable of disrupting the reproductive process of male Wistar rats through poor semen characteristics. However, extract at not more than100 mg/kg body weight may be safe.
Key words: Jatropha gossypifolia, Sperm abnormalities, concentration, motility
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