The ethanolic extract of the stems of Massularia acuminata is widely used in several regions of Côte d’Ivoire for the improvement of the male sexual performance. The study was carried out with a view to investigate the effect of long term use of the plant on rat. For this purpose, four groups of 6 rats each, aged 8 weeks and weighing on average 125 ± 23.16 g. Groups 2, 3 and 4 were treated repeatedly with the ethanolic extract of the stem of M. acuminata at doses of 40, 80 and 160 mg/kg of body weight for 28 days respectively. Group 1, the control group, received only distilled water. In addition to the testicular histological study, body mass and relative testicular mass, sperm motility, concentration and viability were evaluated. This study showed that 40 and 80 mg/kg of ethanolic extract of stems of M. acuminata were better tolerated by the testes. However, the 160 mg/kg body weight dose caused a significant reduction in body mass (-4.68 vs +1.30%) and relative testicular mass (1.27 vs 0.45) on day 28 of the experiments. In addition, the result of the study revealed a significant decrease in motility (16.29 vs 41.71%), sperm concentration (10.33 vs 138.83 sperm/µl) and viability compared to the control group. This study showed that at high doses, the ethanolic extract of the stems of M. acuminata can disrupt spermatogenesis in rats.
Key words: Massularia acuminata, toxicity, rat, testis, spermatozoa.
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