Objective: To evaluate the possible antifertility activity of Enicostemma axillare (E. axillare) leaves and Urena lobata (U. lobata) root in adult male Wistar albino rats. Methods: Six groups of rats were treated with ethanolic (70%v/v) extracts of E. axillare (375 and 750 mg/kg body weight) and U. lobata root (300 and 600 mg/kg body weight) once daily for 55 days. Control groups received the distilled water and vehicle. All the treated rats had corresponding recovery groups. At the end of each treatment periods, animals were killed and organ weights, sperm characteristics, testicular and epididymal biochemicals as well as testicular enzymes were assessed. Results: The E. axillare and U. lobata at tested doses did not decrease body weight, whereas the weight of testes, epididymides and seminal vesicles were significantly (P<0.01) reduced. Significantly (P<0.01) more reductions in the sperm motility, viability and counts, epididymal and testicular protein contents were noted in the rats treated with higher dose of both the plants. Both the plants at the higher dose caused a marked increase (P<0.01) in sperm morphological abnormalities, testicular cholesterol and ascorbic acid contents were remarkably increased (P<0.01), while, the activities of testicular glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH) and Δ 5 -3β-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase (Δ 5 -3β-HSD) were significantly reduced (P<0.01). However, reversal of these changes occurred after 55 days of treatment withdrawal. Conclusions: This study suggests that the E. axillare leaves and U. lobata root reversibly inhibited spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis indicating reversible antifertility activity which could partially support the traditional of these plants as male contraceptives. © 2012 Hainan Medical College.
Dhanapal, R., Ratna, J. V., Gupta, M., & Sarathchandran, I. (2012). Preliminary study on antifertility activity of Enicostemma axillare leaves and Urena lobata root used in Indian traditional folk medicine. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 5(8), 616–622. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1995-7645(12)60127-8