Therapeutic potential of Mucuna pruriens (Linn.) on high-fat diet-induced testicular and sperm damage in rats

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Anatomy, Dr. Arcot Lakshmanaswamy Mudaliar Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, India


Objective: Mucuna pruriens Linn., a leguminous plant, is identified as a herbal medicine for improving fertility-related disorders in the alternative and complementary systems of medicine. The study was focused on evaluating the therapeutic potential of M. pruriens on testis and sperm parameters in a high-fat-induced hypercholesterolemia model.
Materials and Methods: Male rats were divided as normal-control rats (NCR); normal-control rats + M.pruriens (200 mg/kg b.w. of ethanolic extract of M. pruriens seed) treated (NCRD); hypercholesterolemic rats (HCR) and hypercholesterolemic rats + M. pruriens (HCRD). Groups were further divided into three post-exposure periods (subgroups) of 9, 18, and 36 days, and the progressive changes in testis histology and sperm were analyzed.
Results: The study showed a significant impairment in testicular histoarchitecture, depletion of antioxidant enzyme levels, increased oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in the HCR group. The study indicated severe structural and functional damage in sperm parameters and diminished chromatin integrity in the HCR group. In the HCR rats, the follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone were significantly reduced. There was a significant improvement in sperm parameters and testis histology in the HCRD group.
Conclusion: The study reveals the potential efficacy of M. pruriens to improve spermatogenesis, sperm parameters and hormone levels in hypercholesterolemic rats.