Reproductive-Enhancing Potentials of Methanol Extracts of Sphenostylis stenocarpa Seeds in Male Wistar Rats

  • Collins Ugonna Ugokwe* Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Flora Ebere Ogbuke Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Vincent Chikwendu Ejere Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Joseph Effiong Eyo Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
Keywords: Methanol, Sphenostylis stenocarpa, Male rats, Reproductive indices


Background and Aim: Medicinal plant extracts are still commonly used in folk medicine in developing countries. The seed of African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) is a very expensive food legume in Nigeria. Previous studies on S. stenocarpa plant have proven it to be of an outstanding medical significance. Hence, this study investigated the reproductive-enhancing potentials of methanol extracts of Sphenostylis stenocarpa seeds in male Wistar rats. Materials and Methods: A total of 144 adult rats were used for the experiment. They were divided into 4 groups (A – D) and replicated trice. Group A served as the normal control, while groups B, C and D received three graded doses (800, 1200 and 1600 mg/kg) of the extracts respectively by oral intubation. The rats' gonad characteristics, sperm parameters and hormonal analyses were determined weekly using standard procedures starting from week 0 (day 1) to week 12. The data were analyzed statistically using ANOVA. Results: The mean weekly gonad characteristics of the male rats in the treatment groups showed overall dose and duration-dependent significant differences compared with the control. The body weights of the male rats significantly reduced (p<0.05), whereas the testes weights, gonad somatic index, sperm count and sperm motility of the rats significantly increased (p<0.05). Testosterone responded to the plant extracts. The testosterone levels of all the treated rats significantly increased. Conclusion: The methanol seed extracts of S. stenocarpa demonstrated an overall potency to enhance the reproduction in the Wistar rats.


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