Effects of Anethum graveolens L. on fertility in male rats

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2011 Dec;16(6):488-97. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2011.622815.


Objectives: The effects of Anethum graveolens seed extract on fertility of male rats were investigated.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were divided into five groups according to the treatment they received during 42 days: control, low dose (0.5 g/kg) and high dose (5 g/kg) of aqueous extracts, and low dose (0.045 g/kg) and high dose (0.45 g/kg) of ethanol extracts of Anethum graveolens seed. Sperm count and motility and testosterone concentration were measured. Sections of the testes, epididymis, and seminal vesicles were stained with peroxidase-conjugated lectins of Ulex europaeus agglutinin, peanut agglutinin, Dolichos biflorus agglutinin, soy bean agglutinin and concanavalin A. The treated male rats were mated with females and the crown-rump lengths and weights of their newborn pups were measured.

Results: No significant differences in sperm count, sperm motility or testosterone concentration were observed in the experimental groups. However, female rats did not become pregnant after mating with rats given the high dose of the ethanol extract. The distribution of terminal sugars on the epithelial surface of the reproductive structures decreased in the experimental groups.

Conclusion: Anethum graveolens extract decreased fertility rate by modifying some terminal sugars on the cell surface of male reproductive organs involved in sperm maturation, capacitation and oocyte recognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylgalactosamine / analysis
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anethum graveolens*
  • Animals
  • Epididymis / anatomy & histology
  • Epididymis / chemistry*
  • Epididymis / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects*
  • Fucose / analysis
  • Galactose / analysis
  • Litter Size / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mannose / analysis
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds
  • Seminal Vesicles / anatomy & histology
  • Seminal Vesicles / chemistry
  • Seminal Vesicles / drug effects*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Testis / anatomy & histology
  • Testis / chemistry
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Plant Extracts
  • Fucose
  • Testosterone
  • Acetylgalactosamine
  • Mannose
  • Galactose