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Asian J Androl. 2006 Jul;8(4):469-76.

Reproductive, cytological and biochemical toxicity of Yohimbe in male Swiss albino mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, PO Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.



To study the effect of Corynanthe Yohimbe (Yohimbe) on germ cells in Swiss albino mice.


Adult male mice were orally (gavage) treated with different doses (188, 375 and 750 mg/[kg x day]) of aqueous suspension of Yohimbe for 90 days. The following parameters were evaluated: (i) reproductive organ weight, (ii) motility and count of sperm, (iii) study on rate of pregnancy and mean implants, (iv) spermatozoa morphology, (v) cytology of the testes chromosomes, and (vi) biochemical study on estimation of proteins, RNA, DNA, malondialdehyde, nonprotein sulfhydryl (NP-SH) and hormones.


The treatment caused significant increase in the weight of seminal vesicles, motility and count of spermatozoa, pre- and post-implants. Male fertility was decreased. These results are confirmed by our data on spermatozoa abnormalities and chromosomal aberrations. The data on biochemical parameters showed increase of malondialdehyde and depletion of NP-SH, proteins, RNA and DNA in the testicular cells.


Our results elucidated the role of free radical species in cytological and reproductive changes, possibly, under the influence of yohimbine (principal constituent of Yohimbe) on neurotransmitters, including norephinephrine. These data warrant careful use of Yohimbe.

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