Effects of Leaf Extract of Urtica pilulifera L. on Male Reproductive System of Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats
Fawzi Irshaid and Kamal Mansi
DOI : 10.3844/ajptsp.2009.22.28
American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Volume 4, Issue 2
Problem statement: Urtica pilulifera L. (Urticaceae), has long been used for the treatment of various aliments including diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia which has a deleterious effect on all systems including reproductive system of animals. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate the effects of Urtica pilulifera on the reproductive system of diabetic rats. Approach: Forty male rats were evenly divided into four groups: Group I consisted of non-diabetic rats that received only the vehicle; group II-IV was injected intraperitonially with a single dose of streptozotocin (STZ) of 70 mg kg-1; groups III and IV were given methanol extract of Urtica pilulifera orally, 3 days after the STZ injection, at daily doses of 1.0 and 2.0 g kg-1, respectively. After 4 weeks of treatments, all the rats were sacrificed. Results: Administration of 70 mg kg-1 of streptozotocin to male rats induced diabetes and significantly reduced the body and sex organ weights, testosterone levels, sperm count and motility and significantly increased the glucose levels and water and food intake. By contrast, rats given the Uritica pilulifera methanol extract had significantly improved body weight gain, whereas the glucose levels, water and food intake significantly improved in treated diabetic male rats. In addition, this extract improved the reproductive system of the diabetic male rats by significantly increasing the testis and epididymis weights, testosterone levels, sperm count and motility. Conclusion/Recommendations: We concluded that the adverse effects of STZ-diabetes on reproductive system of male rats can be reversed by treatment with Urtica pilulifera leaf extract; and this leaf extract exhibits antihyperglycemic and spermatogenic activities. Based on these findings, we suggested the possible utilization of Urtica pilulifera extracted as a therapy to prevent the development of diabetes in later life and improved the performance of male reproductive system in animals and humans.
© 2009 Fawzi Irshaid and Kamal Mansi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.