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Abstract

AMELIORATIVE EFFECT OF AFRAMOMUM MELEGUETA (ALLIGATOR PEPPER) AGAINST PARAQUAT INDUCED TESTICULAR DAMAGE

Ofoego Uzozie Chikere*, Ekwujuru Ezinne Uchechi, Ireka Michael Ikenna and Ofoego Amarachukwu Ndubuisi

ABSTRACT

Aframomum Melegueta is essential in African communities and is well known for its culinary, medicinal and economic values. This study investigated the effect of co-administration of ethanolic extract of Aframomum Melegueta seeds (EEAMS) and paraquat on testicular parameters. Thirty male Wistar rats (125-200g) were divided into six groups (A-F) of five rats each. Group A(control) received feed and distilled water. Group B and C received 400mg/kg and 200mg/kg of EEAMS respectively. Group D received 20mg/kg of paraquat. Group E received a co-administration of 20mg/kg of paraquat and 400mg/kg of EEAMS. Group F received a co-administration of 20mg/kg of paraquat and 200mg/kg of EEAMS. Paraquat was administered trice a week while extract was administered once daily via oral route for 4 weeks. The animals were sacrificed 24hours after the last administration. Sera, testes and epididymis were collected. The testes were processed and semen analysis, SOD, MDA and sera testosterone tests carried out. Results showed that epididymal sperm count, motility, morphology and sera testosterone levels were reduced (p<0.05) in addition to higher levels of oxidative stress in rats that received paraquat alone. However, all parameters were improved in groups that received a co-administration of paraquat and EEAMS. Histopathological investigations of the testes showed severe spermatogenic arrest and loss of interstitial and sertoli cells in rats that received paraquat alone. However co-treatment of animals with EEAMS showed ameliorative outcomes. Ethanolic seed extract of Aframomum Melegueta thus has a dose dependent ameliorative effects on testes following exposure to reactive oxygen species produced by paraquat.

Keywords: Aframomum Melegueta, paraquat, testes, testosterone.


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