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Open Access Research article

Chlorophytum borivilianum (Safed Musli) root extract prevents impairment in characteristics and elevation of oxidative stress in sperm of streptozotocin-induced adult male diabetic Wistar rats

Nelli Giribabu1, Kilari Eswar Kumar2, Somesula Swapna Rekha3, Sekaran Muniandy4 and Naguib Salleh1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Pharmacology Division, A.U. College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, 530 003 Andhra Pradesh, India

3 Department of Zoology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, 517502 Andhra Pradesh, India

4 Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:291  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-291

Published: 8 August 2014

Abstract

Background

We hypothesized that C. borivilianum root, known to improve male reproductive performance, prevents impairment in characteristics, morphology and elevation of oxidative stress in sperm of diabetics. We therefore investigated the effect of aqueous root extract of C. borivilianum on these parameters in diabetic rat model.

Methods

C. borivilianum root aqueous extract (250 and 500 mg/kg/day) or glibenclamide (600 μg/kg/day) were administered to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic male rats for 28 consecutive days. At the end of treatment, animals were sacrificed and sperm were collected. Sperm count and percentages of forward motility, viability, hypoosmotic swelling (HOS) tail-coiled and abnormal sperm were evaluated. Sperm lipid peroxidation product (LPO), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and nitric oxide (NO) levels, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), activity levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase-SOD, catalase-CAT and glutathione peroxidase-GPx), epididymal sperm density, serum fasting blood glucose (FBG) and HbA1c levels were measured. The expression of sperm caspase-3 was assessed. Meanwhile, in-vitro free radical scavenging activity of C. borivilianum root extract was determined and the root extract was analyzed for the presence of bioactive compounds by FTIR spectroscopy.

Results

C. borivilianum root aqueous extract prevents the decrease in sperm count, percentages of forward motility, viability, HOS and the increase in abnormal sperm percentage and caspase-3 level in diabetic rats. Sperm LPO, H2O2 and NO levels, FBG and HbA1c were lower while TAC, SOD, CAT, GPx and epididymal sperm density were higher in diabetic rats receiving C. borivilianum root extract treatment. C. borivilianum root exhibited strong in-vitro free radical scavenging activity which may be due to the phenolic compound.

Conclusions

C. borivilianum root extract prevents impairment in sperm characteristics and morphology via preventing elevation of oxidative stress, apoptosis and free radicals levels of the sperm in diabetes. These effects may be achieved through maintaining sperm antioxidant level which could be related to free radical scavenging activity of the root extract by phenolic compounds. These effects could also be due to ability of the extract to maintain near normal serum FBG and HBA1c levels in diabetes.

Keywords:
C. borivilianum; Diabetes mellitus; Sperm; Oxidative stress