Anti-fertility effect of Aerva lanata crude extract in male Dams offspring: An experimental study


Background: Aerva lanata, a herb used as food and also consumed as a tonic by pregnant women to relieve stomach pains and prevent miscarriage. In addition to other characterized properties, it possesses antifertility and anti-implantation activities.

Objective: This study investigates the testicular toxicity of the testes of offsprings of Dams treated with crude aqueous extract of Aerva lanata.

Materials and Methods: 25 pregnant Wistar rats (Dams) weighing 180-240 gr were randomly earmarked into 5 groups (n = 5/each). Group A served as control; groups B, C, D, and E received 200, 400, 800, and 1000 mg/kg body weight of Aerva lanata extract, respectively, beginning from 12th to 19th day of gestation. The pups (delivered of Dams) were weighed, observed, and sacrificed 6 wk post-parturition. The testes of the male pups were obtained for histological procedures the testis histology was examined.

Results: No gross malformation was observed in the treatment groups, the number of pups/litter was significantly reduced in group E (p = 0.01), pups weight analysis showed a significant reduction in groups C and E (p = 0.04, and 0.02 respectively), and the mean pup testes weight was significantly reduced in groups B, C, D, and E (p = 0.03, 0.03, 0.01, and < 0.001 respectively) when compared with control. Histologically, the treated pup testes tissues showed varying degrees of disruption and distortion of the cellular arrangements of the germinal epithelium in a dose-dependent manner compared to the control.

Conclusion: The study revealed a testicular toxicity and possibly antifertility role of Aerva lanata in dams’ pups.

Key words: Amaranthaceae, Fertility, Male fertility, Male reproductive system, Local herbs.

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