The methanolic extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa downregulates the relative expression of Kiss1 gene in the hypothalamus of Wistar rats: A preliminary report

Document Type : Short communication


1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, PMB 5001, Nnewi, Nigeria

2 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

3 Hematology Department, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria

4 Diagnostic Laboratory Unit, Medical Centre, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria

5 College of Nursing Sciences, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Complex, Ihiala, Anambra State, Nigeria



Objective: Kiss1 gene expression in the rat hypothalamus was investigated following administration of methanolic extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa (MEHS) to provide mechanistic evidence for the reproductive effect of the MEHS as a potential regulator of Kiss1 gene (which directly controls the hypogonadal axis).
Materials and Methods: This experiment was done using fifteen (15) male rats with average weight of 148 g, randomly grouped into three (3) groups (A-C). Group A was the control group and received no treatment. Group B and C were orally administered with 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of MEHS, respectively. The animals received the extract once a day for twenty-one (21) days. The hypothalamus was harvested on the last day of administration to investigate antioxidant levels, histopathology, and Kiss1 gene expression.
Results: The relative expression of Kiss1 gene in the group C was downregulated compared to the control group (p=0.023). No significant changes were seen in the antioxidant levels of the groups treated with MEHS when compared to the control. MEHS had no histopathological effects in the hypothalamus at both low (200 mg/kg) and high (400 mg/kg) doses.
Conclusions: High-dose MEHS lowers the expression of the Kiss1 gene in the hypothalamus. However, this effect could not be explained by the oxidative profile or histology of the hypothalamus.


Main Subjects

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