The effects of Vitex agnus castus extract and its interaction with dopaminergic system on LH and testosterone in male mice

Pak J Biol Sci. 2007 Jul 15;10(14):2300-7. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2007.2300.2307.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the probable effects of Vitex agnus castus (Vac.) on the male reproductive physiology. It is a well known fact that LH secretion from the anterior pituitary of mammals is controlled by many neurotransmiters such as dopamine. In this experiment, we have studied the effect of Vac. extract on the LH and testosterone hormones and its interaction with the dopaminergic system on male mice. In order to evaluate these effects, we used the hydroalcoholic Vac. extract (for extraction we used percolation technique) injection with the following doses: 65, 165, 265, 365 and 465 mg kg-', bromocriptine as a dopamine receptor agonist (5, 10, 20 mg kg(-1)) and haloperidol as a dopamine receptor antagonist (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 mg kg(-1)). To study the interaction between Vac. extract and dopaminergic system, we injected the optimum doses of Vac. with bromocriptine or haloperidol at the same time. Intraperitoneal injections were applied in all experiments, once a day for 30 days. The control group remained intact and the sham group received vehicle. After the last injection, we collected the animal blood serums for hormonal assays. LH and testosterone were measured by Radio Immuno Assay (RIA). LH and testosterone, showed significant decrease in bromocriptine group and haloperidol increased these hormones. Vac. extract decreased significantly the LH and testosterone levels. The coadministration of Vac. extract and bromocriptine decreased LH and testosterone. Coadministration of Vac. extract and haloperidol decreased LH and testosterone levels. These results suggest: dopamine regulates the gonadotroph-leydig cells axis. It appears that Vac. exertes effects through dopaminergic system and other pathways. The findings of this study show we can use Vac. extract for pathological cases of increasing LH and testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bromocriptine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Vitex / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Bromocriptine
  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Haloperidol
  • Dopamine