Does Sweet Pausinylstalia Yohimbe Affect Reproductive Hormones, Accessory Glands and Sperm in Rats?

Louis Chukwuemeka Ajonuma, Eniola Carew, Misturah Salami, Adebisi Saka Bamiro, Grace Adeyemi Umoren, Innocent Ikechukwu Okoye, Basil Chinedu Bonaventure, Samira Lobo Makonjuola


Sweet Pausinylstalia yohimbe (Sweet P. yohimbe) is popularly known for its aphrodisiac actions and widely used for the treatment of erectile dysfunctions in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. However, little is known of its effects on reproductive hormones and sperm production. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of Sweet P. yohimbe on reproductive steroid hormones, male accessory glands and sperm in the rat.Seventeen adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into three groups. Group A (control group) had 5 rats and received 0.5ml of normal saline, while groups B and C (test groups) had 6 rats each and received 150mg/kg and 300mg/kg body weights of aqueous extract of Sweet P. yohimbe respectively via oral gavages daily for 4weeks. The rats were weighed prior to Sweet P. yohimbe treatment and just before sacrifice. Tissues obtained (testes, prostate and seminal vesicles) were used for histological studies and sera for hormonal measurements. Sperm concentration, motility and vitality were also determined using sperm from the caudal epididymis and vas deference. There was a statistical significant reduction in bodyweights in test groups but none in the organ body weight ratio. There were significantly decreased sperm concentrations and motility in tests groups while vitality was normal amongst all groups. Head to head sperm agglutination was also seen in the tests groups. A dose dependent decrease in the testosterone/estradiol ratio was observed. Cell destruction, epithelial thinning and pseudostratification were also seen in the testes, prostate and seminal vesicles.Sweet P. yohimbe has a dose dependent effect on reproductive steroid hormones, sperm concentration and motility as well as male accessory glands in rats as seen in this study. This may impair reproductive functions and fertility.

Keywords:  Accessory glands, Rats, Sweet Pausinylstalia yohimbe, Reproductive hormones, Sperm motility, Sperm concentration

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