Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Aqueous stem-bark extract of Ficus sycomorus increases sperm production and pH of sperm microenvironment in growing albino rat

N.A. Igbokwe, *, U.K. Sandabe, S. Sanni, B. Wampana, I.M. Wiam, I.O. Igbokwe

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Sixty post-pubertal male albino rats, above 50 days of age and weighing 98.0 ± 22.9 g, were used to study the effects of prolonged oral administration of aqueous extract of Ficus sycomorus stem bark on sperm cell production and pH of sperm microenvironment. They were divided into four groups of 15 each and treated through an esophago-gastric tube at doses of 0, 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg, respectively, using extract concentration of 200 mg/ml for 30 days. Five rats from each group were euthanized on days 10, 20, and 30 of treatment and the testes were dissected out. Sperm head counts (SHCs) were estimated from testicular and epididymal homogenates by using hemocytometer and the pH of the homogenates were determined with a pH meter. The testicular and epididymal (head, body, tail, total) SHCs increased during the period of treatment with significant (P < 0.01) time-dependent linear trends which were apparently higher in the treated (r2 = 0.70-0.91) than control (r2 = 0.50-0.54) animals. Treatment effects were not observed between days 10 and 20 of treatment until day 30 when only testicular and total epididymal SHCs significantly (P < 0.05) increased in dosedependent linear trends which were higher for testicular SHCs (r2 = 0.53; P < 0.01) than total epididymal SHCs (r2 = 0.17; P < 0.01). The treatment also significantly (P < 0.05) increased the pH of testicular and epididymal (head, body, tail) homogenates on days 20 and 30 of treatment with dose-dependent linear trends which were higher on day 30 (r2 = 0.52-0.81; P < 0.05) than day 20 (r2 = 0.28-0.59; p < 0.05) of treatment. At 400-600 mg/kg doses of treatment, the pH of the testicular and epididymal homogenates increased with time-dependent linear trends (r2 = 0.42-0.85; P < 0.05), while no significant (P > 0.05) variations occurred in the same parameters in the controls. It was concluded that the extract increased sperm cell production and pH of homogenates of testes and epididymes of albino rats.


albino rat, Ficus sycomorus extract, sperm, testicular and epididymal pH
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