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Malays J Med Sci. 2015 Mar-Apr;22(2):25-32.

Effects of Hydro-alcoholic Extract from Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) Root on Gonadotropins, Testosterone, and Sperm Count and Viability in Male Mice with Nicotinamide/ Streptozotocin-Induced Type 2 Diabetes.

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Health Research Institute, Diabetes Research Center, Department of Physiology, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, 61335-189 Iran.
Member of Student Research Committee, Department of Physiology, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, 61335-189 Iran.
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, 3715835-155 Iran.
Member of Student Research Committee, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, 61335-189 Iran.
Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, 7514633-341 Iran.



Reproductive dysfunction is a complication of diabetes. Arctium lappa (burdock) root has hypoglycemic and antioxidative properties, which are traditionally used for treatment of impotence and sterility. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the effects of its hydro alcoholic extract on gonadotropin, testosterone, and sperm parameters in nicotinamide/ streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.


In this experimental study, 56 adult male Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice (30-35 g) were randomly divided into seven groups: control, diabetes, diabetes + glibenclamide (0.25 mg/kg), diabetes + extract (200 or 300 mg/kg), and extract (200 or 300 mg/kg). Diabetes was induced with intraperitoneal injection of nicotinamide (NA) and streptozotocin (STZ). Twenty-four hours after the last extract and drug administration, serum samples, testes, and cauda epididymis were removed immediately for experimental assessment.


Body weight, serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone levels, and sperm count (P < 0.05) and viability (P < 0.01) decreased in diabetic mice. Administration of glibenclamide significantly improved these reductions in diabetic animals (P < 0.05). However, the hydro alcoholic extract (300 mg/kg) enhanced sperm viability only in diabetic mice (P < 0.01). In addition, this dose of extract increased sperm count, LH, FSH, and testosterone in nondiabetic animals compared with the control group (P < 0.05).


The results indicate that applied burdock root extract has anti-infertility effects in nondiabetic mice. Hence, this part of the A. lappa plant has an effect on the health of the reproductive system in order to improve diabetic conditions.


Arctium lappa; diabetes; gonadotropin; sperm; testosterone


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