Mahnaz Heidari Corresponding Author
1- Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Kermanshah, Iran
2- Nanobiotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute (ACECR), Kermanshah, Iran
Amir Hasan Jamshedi
- Ministry of Health & Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
Shahin Akhondzadeh
- Faculty of Medical Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Maerefat Ghaffari
- Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
Mohammad Reza Sadeghi
- Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
Mahmoud Ghazi Khansari
- Faculty of Medical Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Mohammad Mehdi Akhondi
1- Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
2- Monoclonal Antibody Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute (ACECR), Tehran, Iran

Received: 1/1/2007 Accepted: 1/1/2007 - Publisher : Avicenna Research Institute

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Introduction: Based on supportive aids of WHO in the field of public health, family planning and reproductive health, consumption of herbal drugs has been considered as an alternative to synthetic contraceptive drugs. Centella asiatica has been traditionally used for the treatment of different types of diseases for thousands of years in various parts of the world including Eastern Asia, China and India. Considering the dispersal of this plant in Bandar Anzali’s wetlands and lack of research on the effects of this plant on reproductive system in laboratory models, this study was carried out to evaluate the effects of Centella asiatica extract on spermatogenesis and testical tissue of rats. Materials & Methods: At first, the plant was collected and its extract was prepared through percolation process. Some 8 to 10-week old male Wistar rats, weighing about 200-250 grams, were selected randomly and were divided into 6-member subgroups. The rats in the control group received water, the sham group received Tween solvent and the third to the sixth groups received non-fatal doses of 10, 50, 80 and 100mg/kg of the crude extract for 60 days respectively. On the 61st day, the rats were dissected and their testes were taken out and weighed for probable effects of the extract on the organs weight. Then sperm parameters and histological evaluations of the testes were done. The results were analyzed by the use of SPSS and Pharm softwares by calculation of one-way ANOVA while considering p<0.05 as the significance level. results: the ld50 of the plant was calculated as 500mg g, with a confidence interval of 1.9- 2.2 in male rats. the non-lethal doses of 10, 50, 80 and 100 mg g of centella extract were considered for histological and spermatogonial evaluations. there were significant increases in body and testis weight in rats receiving the extract compared to the control and sham groups. there were histological changes during spermatogonial evolution such as degeneration of spermatozoa and interstitial congestion in some tubules and sperm analysis showed a meaningful decrease in the number of spermatozoa (p<0.01), motile sperms (p<0.001) and epididymal sperm storage (p<0.001) compared to the sham and control groups but there were no changes in sperm morphology. conclusion: based on the above results, it seems that centella asiatica can be used as a temporary contraceptive agent in animals. nevertheless, more biochemical and molecular research on the contraceptive effects of this extract is needed to determine its economical benefits and prepare an appropriate formulation.< pan>

Keywords: Rat, Sperm, Spermatogenesis, LD50, Centella asiatica, Fertility, Contraceptives

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