Ethanolic extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves protect the pre-pubertal spermatogonial cells from cyclophosphamide-induced damage

J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Apr 22:182:101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Moringa oleifera Lam. is widely cultivated in Asian and African countries for its medicinal and dietary significance. The leaves are highly nutritious and are known to possess various biological activities.

Materials and methods: Pre-pubertal Swiss albino male mice were injected with single dose of cyclophosphamide (CP, 200mg/kg body weight) or ethanolic extract of Moringa oleifera leaves (MOE, 100mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneally. In combination group, MOE was administered 24h prior to CP injection.

Results: CP induced a significant decrease in testicular weight (p<0.01) and depletion of germ cells (p<0.001) and higher level of DNA damage (p<0.001) compared to control. The expression of P53, Bax, Cytochrome C (Cyt C) was increased while there was a decrease in the expression of Bcl2, c-Kit and Oct4. Administration of MOE 24h prior to CP treatment ameliorated the depletion (p<0.001), DNA damage (p<0.001) and apoptosis (p<0.01) of germ cells induced by CP. The mitigating effect of MOE appears to be mediated by up-regulating the expression of c-Kit and Oct4 transcripts in P53-independent manner.

Conclusion: MOE protects the spermatogonial cells from CP-induced damage by modulating the apoptotic response elicited by CP and therefore can be considered as an efficient method of male fertility preservation.

Keywords: C-Kit; Cyclophosphamide; Fertility preservation; Moringa oleifera; Oct4; Testicular toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclophosphamide / toxicity*
  • Cytochromes c / genetics
  • DNA Damage
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Moringa oleifera*
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sexual Development
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Sperm Count
  • Spermatogonia / drug effects*
  • Spermatogonia / metabolism
  • Spermatogonia / pathology
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / genetics


  • Bax protein, mouse
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Solvents
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Ethanol
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cytochromes c
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit