Cisplatin is one of the most potent chemotherapeutic antitumor drugs that generates reactive oxygen species and also inhibits the activity of antioxidant enzymes in testicular tissues. In the present study, we investigated the long term effects of treatment with Kigelia africana fruit extract (KAFE) and cisplatin in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Our literature survey indicated a lack of any experimental study showing the effects of long term use of KAFE in any experimental chemotherapeutic protocol using cisplatin. 50 Sprague-Dawley rats were used for the study, divided into 10 groups (n = 5 in each group): control group, KAFE alone groups (100 and 500 mg/kg), cisplatin group, KAFE and cisplatin co-treatment group, KAFE prophylactic groups, and KAFE post-treatment groups. Testicular histopathology, MDA, GSH, catalase activities were determined alongside epididymal sperm count and motility. Hormonal assay for testosterone, FSH and LH was determined as well as morphometric parameters. Cisplatin-treated rats suffered 44% attrition rate with significantly reduced weight compared to controls and KAFE treated rats. Similarly, sperm motility was below 50% in cisplatin-treated rats while KAFE treatment resulted in over 70% motility. The cross-sectional area of seminiferous tubules in cisplatin-treated rats was 27.77 ± 0.9 × 103 µm2 as against 35.28 ± 1.6 × 103 µm2 in controls. While in cisplatin treated group the tissue levels of GSH and catalase activities were found to be significantly lower than in control and KAFE treated rats, MDA levels were significantly higher. Administration of KAFE as an adjunct to cisplatin and as post-treatment was not as effective in ameliorating the derangements in histoarchitectural and biochemical parameters caused by cislatin as the case when it is administered as a prophylactic or alone. Long term treatment with KAFE in rats has not shown any serious histoarchitectural alterations in the testis of the animals. While it is possible that KAFE may confer protecting capabilities against cisplatin-induced testicular damage, our studies has proven that pre-treatment offers a better option in reducing the ravages caused by cisplatin in the testis in a mechanism believed to be free-radical mediated.
Key words: Kigelia africana, testicular toxicity, cisplatin, long-term treatment.
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