In this study, Leydig cells were purified from 70 day-old Sprague Dawley male rats and incubated with 10 and 100 μg/mL of methanol extract of Basella alba (MEBa) for 4 hours followed by the evaluation of cell viability, steroid (testosterone and estradiol) production, and the level of aromatase mRNA. Results showed that MEBa did not affect Leydig cell viability. At the concentration of 10 μg/mL, MEBa significantly stimulated testosterone and estradiol production (p < 0.01 and p < 0.03, respectively), and enhanced aromatase mRNA level (p < 0.04). These observations suggest that MEBa directly stimulated testosterone, estradiol and aromatase mRNA levels in isolated Leydig cells.
Keywords: Basella alba; aromatase mRNA; estradiol; rat Leydig cells; testosterone.