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Assessment of sperm production and reproductive organs of Wistar rats to long-term exposure of Caesalpinia ferrea

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Scientific Electronic Library Online - Brazil
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Abstract

Caesalpinia ferrea Mart (Leguminosae) is a medicinal plant used to treat diabetes, among other therapeutic properties, but which is also reported to have hepatotoxic effects. Although it contains substances such as flavonoids and coumarin, which are known to have antifertility activity, no studies have apparently been conducted to evaluate the potential adverse side effects of this plant on the function of the reproductive system after a chronic treatment. Therefore, this investigation was carried out to evaluate the effect and safety of the long-term exposure to C. ferrea on male Wistar rats' vital organs, reproductive system and sperm production. Adult and immature male rats were treated with an aqueous extract of C. ferrea at a dose level of 300 mg/kg of body weight, administered during one or two spermatogenic cycles of this species. The reproductive and vital organs were analyzed, and sperm was collected from the epididymal secretion of the right epididymis cauda. The long-term administration of C. ferrea did not significantly alter the body, vital and reproductive organs weights. Gamete production was not affected either. The chronic assessment of C. ferrea suggests that this plant does not affect the normal functioning of the Wistar rat reproductive system.

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