Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, C065

Oral Communications

Waltheria indica root exhibits male contraceptive effect through inhibition of androgensis in male Wistar rats

A. BASIRU1,2

1. VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, ILORIN, NIGERIA, Ilorin, KWARA, Nigeria. 2. VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IBADAN, OYO, Nigeria.


Current methods of population control have not yielded significant result in developing countries such as Nigeria. This has been attributed to factors such as lack of acceptability in rural areas, perceived adverse effects, poor penetration of rural communities and mostly female-centered approach. Hence, the need for culturally acceptable and male-centered birth control methods. Traditional use of Waltheria indica as male contraceptive has been reported in Nigeria. This study was designed to evaluate the contraceptive potential of Waltheria indica root (WIR) in male rats. Twenty males Wistar rats (190-236g) and twelve female rats of proven fertility were used. The males rats were randomly divided into four groups (n=5). Group I served as the control and was administered with distilled water while group II, III and IV were given crude ethanolic extract of WIR (200mg/Kg), synthetic quinoline alkaloid (13.5mg/Kg) and a pure compound (yet to be characterized) isolated from WIR (1000µg/Kg) respectively. The treatment was done for 28 days after which three males from each of the groups were paired with three female rats. The female rats were artificially brought to oestrous according to standard procedure. After the mating, ethyl ether anaesthetized male rats were sacrificed. Epididymal sperm, testicular and serum samples were assayed for sperm parameters, testicular androgenic enzymes [Δ5, 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD)] and testosterone respectively. All data obtained (means ± standard deviation) were subjected to one way analysis of variance with Dunnett's Multiple Comparison Test used to compare means at p<0.05 on GraphPad Prism. The crude extract of WIR and compound isolated from WIR significantly reduced the sperm count (p<0.05) and motility (p<0.001). There was also significant reduction in serum level of testosterone for the crude extract of WIR (p<0.01) and the compound isolated from WIR (p<0.05). The serum levels of Δ5, 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD enzymes were significantly reduced by the isolated compound from WIR (p<0.001). The compound, crude extract of WIR and synthetic quinoline alkaloid reduced the fertility index from 100% (control) to 0%, 25% and 75% respectively. These findings support the traditional use of Waltheria indica as male contraceptive agent. More so, reduced level of testosterone and subsequent reduction of key androgenic enzymes indicate inhibition of androgenesis. This suggests that contraceptive effect of WIR is through inhibition of androgenesis. Key words: Waltheria indica root, contraceptive, androgen, male rats

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements