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Lepidium meyenii (Maca) reversed the lead acetate induced — Damage on reproductive function in male rats

Abstract

Rats were treated with 0, 8, 16 and 24 mg/kg of lead acetate (LA) (i.p.) for 35 days with or without Maca. Maca was co-administrated orally from day 18 to day 35. The lengths of stages of the seminiferous epithelium were assessed by transillumination. Also, sex organ weights, testicular and epididymal sperm count, sperm motility, daily sperm production, sperm transit rate and serum testosterone levels were measured. Lead acetate treatment resulted in a dose–response reduction of lengths of stages VIII and IX–XI, and serum testosterone levels. However, rats treated with 8 and 16 mg/kg but not 24 mg/kg of lead acetate showed a low number of testicular spermatids, low daily sperm production (DSP) and low epididymal sperm count. Administration of Maca to rats treated with lead acetate resulted in higher lengths of stages VIII and IX–XI with respect to lead a cetate-treated rats. Moreover, treatment with Maca to lead acetate-treated rats resulted in lengths of stages VIII and IX–XI similar to the control group. Maca administration also reduced the deleterious effect on DSP caused by lead acetate treatment. Maca prevented LA-induced spermatogenic disruption in rats and it may become in a potential treatment of male infertility associated with lead exposure.

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