Effects of Ficus syncomorus and Datura metel stem-bark extracts on the sperm characteristics of Yankasa rams
Keywords:Ficus syncomorus, Datura metel, sperm characteristics, morphology, Yankasa rams
Interest in medicinal plants for the management of myriad of conditions including reproductive disorders refractory to orthodox medicinal care is on the increase. Ficus syncomorus and Datura metel are two of such plants with folkloric evidence of aiding fertility in human. This study investigated the effect of aqueous stem-bark extracts (200 mg/kg) of F. syncomorus and D. metel respectively on the sperm characteristics of Yankasa rams. Twelve (12) matured (15 – 16 months) old rams were used in this study and randomly assigned into three (I, II, III) groups of four (4) animals each. Group I served as the control while II and III served as the treatment groups and received daily oral doses (200 mg/kg) of F. syncomorus and D. metel extracts respectively for 7 consecutive days. Semen was collected from all the groups at the end of the treatments using Electro-ejaculation method and evaluated by light microscopy. The mean semen volume (68.70+4.2 to 65.62+2.00) and percentage progressive motile cells significantly (p<0.05) reduced 7 days post treatment in group III (84.05+1.3) compared to the control (85.20+1.32) and the group II (86.56+0.40) animals. The mean sperm count, the percentage liveability and the haematological parameters and erythrocytic indices (10.81±0.24 for group 111 to 12.54±0.30 for group1) significantly (p<0.05) decreased in group III compared to the values in the control and group II rams. Abnormal sperm morphology (bent mid-piece, curved tail, headless tail, tailless head) significantly (p<0.05) increased in D. metel group (7.26+0.12) compared to F. syncomorus (5.02+0.04) and control groups (5.62+0.01) respectively. D. metel aquesous extract adversely affected sperm characteristics with significant effect on semen volume, sperm morphology and counts as well as haematological parameters. Exposure of animals to D. metel at the dose used may impair sperm fertilizing ability, thus leading to reduced ram fertility. While F. syncomorus extract appears a potential drug candidate for improving fertility.