Protective Effect of Plants Extracts Mixture on Sperm Abnormalities, Testicular and Epididymal Tissues in Diabetic Male Rats


Background: Diabetes has been associated with reproductive impairment in both men and women. About 90% of diabetic patients have disturbances in sexual function, including a decrease in libido, impotence and infertility. Attention has been paid to the search of effective drugs in the field of traditional medicine.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of diabetes mellitus type 2(T2DM) on the sperm abnormalities, testicular and epididymal tissues of male rats. Also to evaluate the efficiency of the mixture of methanol-watery extracts composed of five medicinal plants (Trigonella faenum-graecum seeds, Nigella sativa seeds, Zingiber officinale rhizomes, Olea europeae leaves and Fraxinus ssp.seeds) in reducing harmful effect of DM on the percentage of sperm abnormalities, testicular and epididymal tissues.

Methods: Twenty-four mature male rats were used in six groups (n=4), the first group kept as a control. The second group received alloxan (120 mg/ kg body weight i.p.) for 3 days to induction of T2DM while the third, fourth, and fifth groups were diabetic rats received the plants extracts mixture orally for 45, 60, 75 days, respectively after induction of T2DM. The sixth group received the plants extracts mixture for 60 days. By the end of the experiment, animals were sacrificed and the testis and epididymis were excised and sperm was collected for morphological abnormalities of the sperm shape. Also histopathological examination of the testes and epididymis were examined.

Results: The sperm shape abnormalities significantly increased (p<0.05) in alloxan – induced diabetic rats compared with normal control group. Histopathological examination showed degenerative changes of both testes and epididymis in diabetic rats which include significant decrease (p<0.05) in both diameter of seminiferous tubules and their germinal epithelium heights and non-significant decrease (p>0.05) in both diameters of cauda epididymal tubules and height of epithelium of cauda epididymal tubules. On the other hand, atrophied seminiferous tubules, atrophied spermatogenic cells and the lumen of semineferous tubules free from sperm was detected. Furthermore, expansion of interstitial space between seminiferous tubules were seen . In contrast , oral administration of the plants extracts mixture to the diabetic rats at three period of study 45, 60, 75 days, respectively statistically decreased (p<0.05) most sperms abnormalities compared with diabetic group and caused non-significant differences compared with control group besides enhancing the histological changes of both testes and epididymis.

Conclusion: DM has negative effect in male testis and epidydimis of alloxan-induced rats and may contribute in reduction of fertility while the plants extracts mixture used in this study can reduce most degerenative changes occurred in testes and epidydimis in diabetic groups treated with the mixture of plants extracts.


Keywords: Alloxan- induced diabetes, Histopathological Changes of testis and epididymis, Rats, Sperm Abnormalities

Unique Article ID: IJHPR-105

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