Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Efficacy of Ficus carica leaf extract on morphological and molecular behavior of mice germ stem cells

Zohreh Makoolati; Hasan Bahrami; Zahra Zamanzadeh; Maryam Mahaldashtian; Alireza Moulazadeh; Lida Ebrahimi; Majid Naghdi

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Infertility is one of the most prevalent health disorders in reproductive-age males and females. Ficus carica (Fc), an herbal plant, has been used traditionally for the treatment of different diseases such as infertility especially in Iranian folk medicine. This study examined the effects of Fc leaf extract on the proliferation of mice spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Phenolic, flavonoid content, major polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated respectively by Folin-Ciocateu, aluminum chloride, HPLC and the FRAP and DPPH methods. Testicular cells of neonate mice were extracted and their identity was confirmed using cytokeratin for Sertoli and Oct-4, CDHI and PLZF for SSCs. Effects of Fc (0.0875, 0.175, 0.35, 0.71 and 1.42 mg/ml) was evaluated at third, 7th, 9th and 14th days of culture by colony assay. The expression of the Mvh, GFRα1 and Oct-4 genes and the viability and proliferation of cultured cells was assessed at the end of the culture period. The extract has a rich phenolic and flavonoid content such as Rutin, Psoralen, Bergapten and Caffeoylmalic acid using HPLC analysis. It also had a potent reducing and radical scavenging activity. Morphology of colonies was similar in all groups. Higher viability, proliferation, colony number and diameter of SSCs was seen in the presence of Fc leaf extract in a dose-dependent manner so that higher number and diameter of colonies were observed in two higher doses of 0.71 and 1.42 mg/ml, separately for each time point relative to other groups. The Mvh, Oct-4 and GFRα1 genes expression had no significant differences between groups. It seems that Fc leaf extract not only had no any cytotoxic effects on the viability and proliferation of SSCs but also support their stemness state. So, this culture system can be employed for enrichment of germ stem cells for use in clinical applications.


spermatogonial stem cell, proliferation, Ficus carica, cytotoxicity, viability


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