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Urinary NMR-based metabolomic analysis of rats possessing variable sperm count following orally administered Eurycoma longifolia extracts of different quassinoid levels

Ebrahimi, Forough, Ibrahim, Baharudin, Teh, Chin-Hoe, Murugaiyah, Vikneswaran, Chan, Kit-Lam
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2016 v.182 pp. 80-89
Eurycoma longifolia, alanine, benzoic acid, discriminant analysis, energy, ethanol, laboratory animals, libido, male fertility, males, models, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, oral administration, rats, roots, spermatozoa, traditional medicine, trigonelline, urine
Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali, TA) roots have been ethnically used as a remedy to boost male sexual desire, libido, energy and fertility.The study evaluated the effect of TA extracts with different quassinoid levels on rats sperm count and examined corresponding post-treatment urinary metabolic changes.Twenty-four male Sprague–Dawley rats, categorized into 4 groups of 6 rats each, were orally administered for 48 days with water for the control (group 1), 125mg/kg of TA water extract (TAW, group 2), 125mg/kg of TA quassinoid-poor extract (TAQP, group 3) and 21mg/kg of TA quassinoid-rich extract (TAQR, group 4). Upon completion of the 48-day treatment, the urine samples were analyzed by NMR and the animals were subsequently sacrificed for sperm count analysis. The urine profiles were categorized according to sperm count level.The results showed that the sperm count in TAW- and TAQR-treated groups was significantly higher compared to the TAQP-administered and control groups. The orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) model indicated a clear separation among the urine profiles with respect to sperm count level. Urine ¹H-NMR profiles of the high-sperm count group contained higher concentrations of trigonelline, alanine, benzoic acid and higher intensity of a signal at 3.42ppm, while ethanol was at higher concentration in the normal-sperm count group.The results proved the efficacy of quassinoids on sperm count increase in rats and provided quantitative markers in urine suitable for analysis of sperm profile and male fertility status.