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Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 1;164(Pt A):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.004. Epub 2016 May 7.

Comparison of the effects of mesquite pod and Leucaena extracts with phytoestrogens on the reproductive physiology and sexual behavior in the male rat.

Author information

1
Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, México City C.P. 09340, Mexico. Electronic address: rems@xanum.uam.mx.
2
Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, México City C.P. 09340, Mexico.
3
Colegio de Posgraduados, Campus San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
4
INRA, Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, UMR 7247 INRA-CNRS-Université F. Rabelais-IFCE, 37380 Nouzilly, France.
5
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico.

Abstract

Mesquite (Prosopis sp.) and Leucaena leucocephala are widespread legumes, widely used to feed several livestock species and as food source for human populations in several countries. Both mesquite and Leucaena contain several phytoestrogens which might have potential estrogenic effects. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of mesquite pod and Leucaena extracts on several aspects of behavior and reproductive physiology of the male rat. The effects of the extracts were compared with those of estradiol (E2) and of two isoflavones: daidzein (DAI) and genistein (GEN). The following treatments were given to groups of intact male rats: vehicle; mesquite pod extract; Leucaena extract; E2; DAI; GEN. The results indicate that mesquite pod and Leucaena extracts disrupt male sexual behavior in a similar way to DAI and GEN, but less than E2. The main disruptor of sexual behavior was E2, however after 40 and 50days of administration, both extracts and phytoestrogens disrupted sexual behavior in a similar way to E2. The extracts also increased testicular germ cell apoptosis, decreased sperm quality, testicular weight, and testosterone levels, as phytoestrogens did, although these effects were less than those caused by estradiol. The number of seminiferous tubules with TUNEL-positive germ cells increased in extracts treated groups in a similar way to phytoestrogens groups, and E2 caused the greatest effect. The number of TUNEL-positive cells per tubule increased only in Leucaena extract and E2 groups, but not in mesquite- and phytoestrogens-treated groups. Spermatocytes and round spermatids were the TUNEL-positive cells observed in all experimental groups. This effect was associated with smaller testicular weights without atrophy in experimental groups compared with control. Testicular atrophy was only observed in estradiol-treated males. Testosterone decreased in males of all experimental groups, compared with control, this androgen was undetectable in E2 treated males. These results suggest that mesquite pod and Leucaena extracts cause effects similar to those of phytoestrogens in male rat reproduction, these effects were lower than those caused by E2.

KEYWORDS:

Apoptosis; Leucaena; Male sexual behavior; Mesquite pod; Phytoestrogens; Sperm quality; Testosterone

PMID:
27163522
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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