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Morella serrata (Lam.) Killick stabilizes biomembrane and rejuvenates sexual competence in male Wistar rats

Sabiu, S., Ashafa, A.O.T.
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2017 v.205 pp. 8-15
Morella, analgesics, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, body weight, catalase, cattle, cell membranes, cholesterol, erythrocytes, follicle-stimulating hormone, gamma-glutamyltransferase, glutathione, glycogen, hemolysis, ibuprofen, lactate dehydrogenase, males, medicinal plants, placebos, proteins, rats, spermatozoa, superoxide dismutase, testes, testosterone, traditional medicine, viability, South Africa
Morella serrata L. is an indigenous medicinal plant to South and southern Africa with folkloric applications as aphrodisiac, laxative, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-hypertensive, antitussive and antidiabetic agent.This study evaluated the membrane stabilization and aphrodisiac potentials of its aqueous root extract in male Wistar rats.While the membrane stabilization of the extract was investigated against bovine erythrocytes (BE), the male rats for the aphrodisiac study were randomized into five groups with animals in group 1 given sterile placebo and served as control. The rats in group 2 were treated with 7.14mg/kg body weight of PowMaxM, while animals in groups 3, 4 and 5 were administered with the extract (100, 200 and 400mg/kg, respectively). All treatments (1mL) were done once daily for 4 weeks via oral gavaging and their mating behavioural, testicular, spermatogenetic and antioxidant parameters were evaluated.With the exception of the mount, intromission and post ejaculatory latencies that were dose-dependently reduced by the extract, other mating parameters were significantly improved when compared with the control. Similar patterns of significant improvement were also observed on the testes-body weight ratio, quality and viability of sperm cells as well as testicular concentrations of proteins, cholesterol, glycogen, testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone, leuitenizing hormone and glutathione (reduced) subsequent to treatment with the extract. Although, administration of M. serrata had no significant (p>0.05) effect on the testicular activity of gamma glutamyl transferase, those of lactate dehydrogenase, phosphatases (alkaline and acid), superoxide dismutase and catalase were significantly (p<0.05) induced in the treated animals. The extract also conferred respective significant (p<0.05) membrane stabilization potential of 66.02% and 60.87% on the BE against hypotonic solution and heat-induced hemolysis relative to 62.14% and 40.19% for ibuprofen. The effect elicited by the extract at the tested doses could partly be attributed to its antioxidant and adaptogenic constituents.The data presented in this study have enriched biochemical information on the root extract of M. serrata as a viable source of phytonutrients that could be potentially useful for the development of aphrodisiac drugs, and thus lending scientific credence to its much touted sex enhancing attributes by the Basothos of the eastern Free State Province of South Africa.