Ethnopharmacological evaluation of male contraceptive efficacy of Dendrophthoe falcata in albino rats
Search for male-antifertility agent in plants remains a potential area of investigations. Though, antispermatogenic activity has been reported in some plants, only few are reported.. Therefore, present study was undertaken to evaluate the contraceptive-efficacy of Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.) Ettingsh. in male albino rats as reported in folk remedies1. Shade-dried stems of D. falcata were extracted in methanol and then fractionated with different solvents. A part of isolated-fractions were also processed for various phytochemical-techniques to identify active constituents. Spectral studies revealed that it has one compound in major quantity i.e. kaempferol, a natural flavonol2,3. Male rats were gavaged with kaempferol rich fraction at 50mg/rat/day for 60days. On day 61st animals were autopsied and testes, epididymides, seminal-vesicle and ventral-prostate were dissected out and weighed. Sperm motility and density were assessed. Biochemical and histological analysis were also performed. A marked reduction in weight of testes, epididymides, seminal vesicle and ventral prostate was observed. The sperm motility and density were significantly reduced. The histoarchitecture of testes revealed degenerative changes in the seminiferous-tubules and arrest of spermatogenesis at the stage of round-spermatids. A marked alteration in Leydig cell differenzial counts was also noticed. Serum-testosterone levels were decreased significantly. Protein, glycogen, sialic acid, acid and alkaline phosphatase content of testes, protein and sialic in cauda and seminal vesicular fructose was decreased, whereas testicular-cholesterol increased significantly. Results of present study showed a significant effect of D. falcata on testicular and epididymal spermatozoa. Findings of present study supports the use of this plant in folk remedies as an antifertility agent.
Acknowledgement: Author Dr. Jai Bahadur Singh Kachhawa, acknowledges the financial assistance from UGC, New Delhi for Dr. D.S. Kothari Postdoc Research Fellowship.
References: 1. Jain SK, Defillips R. (1991) Medicinal plants of India. Vol. 1. Reference Publication.Inc Michigan, pp. 392.
2. Kumar, Dixi and Khanna P (1989) Plantes Medicinales et Phytotherapie 23: 193–201.
3. Wang H et al. (2008) IUBMB Life 60(8): 549–554.