Toxic effect of Tropaeolum majus L. leaves on spermatogenesis in mice

JBRA Assist Reprod. 2018 Sep 1;22(3):174-179. doi: 10.5935/1518-0557.20180035. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To evaluate the hydroethanolic extract toxicity, obtained from Tropaeolum majus L. (TM) on mouse testicular tissue.

Method: In this experimental study, we used 32 male NMRI mice. The experimental groups received 75, 375 and 750 mg/kg of TM extract, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the last experimental day, serum samples were collected for hormonal measurement. Then, the cauda of epididymis and testis were removed for sperm count and histopathological assessments.

Results: Testosterone serum and testicular levels decreased in 750 mg/kg in the treated group when compared to the control animals (1.65±0.25; p=0.041 and 98.83±8.67; p=0.034 respectively). Histopathological criteria such as epithelial vacuolization (9.3±1.1; p=0.034), sloughing (4.3±0.4; p=0.027) and detachment (12.2±0.9; p=0.031) of germ cells were significantly increased in 750 mg/kg in the treated mice. In addition, there were no significant changes in histopathological criteria; sperm head numbers, Johnsen's scoring, and morphometry assessments were carried out in the 75 and 375 mg/kg treated mice. At the dose of 750 mg/kg, the seminiferous tubule diameter (193.2±4.6; p=0.019), seminiferous epithelium height (139.2±5.1; p=0.023), and maturation arrest were significantly decreased in this group.

Conclusion: In conclusion, TM extract has toxic effects on the mouse testicular tissue in high doses. Hence, we recommend caution concerning its consumption by patients with reproductive problems.

Keywords: Spermatogenesis; Tropaeolum majus L.; mouse; testis; toxicity.