Oxidative stress is one of the underlying causes of male infertility. Medicinal plants have many benefits for infertility treatment in men.
In the present study, we evaluated in vitro effects of Capparis spinosa leaf extract on human sperm function, DNA fragmentation, and oxidative stress.
We conducted this study on the hydroalcoholic extract of C. spinosa. Polyphenol compounds and antioxidant effects of the leaf and fruit extract were determined by HPLC and DPPH method, respectively. Flavones and flavonols, total flavonoid, total phenolic content, tannin, and the total carbohydrate content were determined calorimetrically. Semen samples from 50 healthy men (20-45 years) were divided into control and experimental (15, 30, and 45 ppm of C. spinosa leaf extract) groups. Motility, viability, lipid peroxidation, and DNA fragmentation were evaluated 24 hours after incubation.
The antioxidant effect of leaf extract was six times greater than fruit. Progressive and total motility of caper-treated groups (30 and 45 ppm) were crucially higher than the control group. Viability in all treatments was significantly higher than the control group. There was no significant difference in lipid peroxidation. DNA fragmentation in the caper-treated group (45 ppm) was significantly lower than the control group.
Our results suggest the potential positive in vitro effect of C. spinosa leaf extract on human sperm function. The use of C. spinosa leaf extract or its active metabolites in the sperm culture medium may be beneficial for maintaining motility, vitality, and sperm DNA. Since these effects were observed at very low concentrations of caper, other non-antioxidant mechanisms must be considered.
Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2020 Dec 16 [Epub ahead of print]
Motahareh Khojasteh Rad, Askar Ghani, Esmaeel Ghani
Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran., Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Jahrom University, Jahrom, Iran., Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran; Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran. Electronic address: .