The effect of the leaf extract Ipomoea batatas was investigated on the thyroid gonadal axis of male rats. The leaf extract of I. batatas was extracted by dissolving a measured dry-powder leaf sample in a known volume of distilled water. The soaked plant sample was allowed to stand overnight for 24 h. The sample was filtered and the filtrate evaporated into solid extract. Three doses of the leaf extract of I. batatas (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg/d) were administered orally daily for three weeks. At the end of the treatment, the rats of all the groups were sacrificed and their thyroid glands and testes were isolated and fixed in Bouin’s fluid for 48 h. The sections of the tissues were processed for histopathology. The results revealed follicles hypertrophy and hyperplasia as well as reduction of colloid in the lumen of the follicles. The photomicrograph of the testes morphology revealed oligospermia, asthenospermia and abnormal sperm morphology suggesting male contraceptive property of the plant extract. These effects were also confirmed by sperm count. The possible mechanism of action could be both direct on gonads and indirect via the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis.
Key words: Thyroid, gonads, Ipomoea batatas, contraception, Wistar rats.
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