Citrus aurantifolia impairs fertility facilitators and indices in male albino wistar rats

Uduak Akpan Okon, Bassey Nyong Etim


Background: The ability to reproduce is one of life's essential functions; therefore factors that affect this ability are of vital importance to mankind. We therefore designed this study to assess the effect of various dosages of C. aurantifolia treatment on fertility promoters and indices in male albino wistar rats.

Methods: Toxicity studies showed no lethality at 5000 mg/kg. Eighteen male albino wistar rats weighing between 220 and 240 g were used. They were randomly assigned into three groups of six rats each. Group one served as control and was gavaged 5 ml of normal saline, groups two and three were gavaged 1000 mg/kg and 1500 mg/kg body weight as medium and high dose respectively twice daily for 21 days. On the 22nd day, the rats were sacrificed and blood samples were obtained by cardiac puncture; following standard procedure, the serum was obtained for hormonal (FSH, LH, prolactin and testosterone) assay using microplate immunoenzymometric assay. The testes were harvested for semen analysis.

Results: LH level was significantly lower in medium dose (P <0.05) and high dose (P <0.001). A significant increase in medium dose and high dose groups (P <0.05) of testosterone levels when compared to the control group was observed. There was a significant decrease in fast progressive movement and percentage normal sperm morphology of sperm cells in medium dose and high dose (P <0.001). There was a significant decrease in percentage sperm concentration in medium dose (P <0.01) and high dose (P <0.001).

Conclusions: We therefore deduce that Citrus aurantifolia possess antifertility potentials in male albino wistar rats. Excessive intake should be with caution in males with fertility challenges.


Fertility, Citrus aurantifolia, Semen analysis, Sex hormones, Male

Full Text:



Isidori A., Pozza C, GianFrilli D, Isidori A. Medicinal treatment to improve sperm quality. J Reprod Biomed. 2006;12:704-14.

Cooper TG, Nnonan E, Von Eckardstein. World Health Organization reference values for human semen characteristics. Reprod Update. 2010;(16):231-45.

Essing MG. Semen analysis, 2007. Available at: Accessed 30 April 2012.

Kokopelli Technologies. Adequate analysis frequency, 2007. Available at: Accessed 11 August 2007.

Weschler Toni. Fertility awareness method. In: Weschler Toni, eds. Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Revised ed. New York: HarperCollins; 2002: 189.

Boulpaep EL, Boron WF. Male sex act. In: Boulpaep EL, Boron WF, eds. Medical Physiology: a Cellular and Molecular Approach. 1st ed. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Saunders; 2005: 1125.

Peter Raven, George Johnson, Kenneth Mason, Jonathan Losos, Susan Singer. How Cells Harvest Energy and Photosynthesis. In: Peter Raven, George Johnson, Kenneth Mason, Jonathan Losos, Susan Singer, eds. Biology. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2010: 1279.

Bowen R. Gonadotropins: luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones, 2004. Available at: Accessed 13 May 2014.

Karpas AE, Matsumoto AM, Paulsen CA, Bremner WJ. Elevated serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels in men with normal seminal fluid analyses. Fertil Steril. 1983;39:333-6.

Fox SI. Male reproductive system. In: Fox SI, eds. Human Physiology. 8th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill; 2004: 638-651.

Hair WM, Gubbay O, Jabbour HN, Lincoln GA. Prolactin receptor expression in human testis and accessory tissues: localization and function. Mol Hum Reprod. 2002;8(7):606-11.

Masud S, Mehboob F, Bappi MU. Severe hyperprolactinaemia directly depresses the gonadal activity causing infertility. Esculapio J Services Inst Med Sci. 2007;2:25-7.

Soler Fernandez JM, Caravacamagarinos F, Dominguez Bravo C, Murillo Mirat J, Aparicio Palomino A, Herrera Puerto J. Correlation of sperm prolactin, sperm count and motility. Prevalence of hyperprolactinaemia in the infertile male. Arch Esp Urol. 1990;43:891-5.

Dan Longo, Anthony Fauci, Dennis Kasper, Stephen Hauser, J. Jameson, Joseph Loscalzo. Alterations in sexual function and reproduction. In: Dan Longo, Anthony Fauci, Dennis Kasper, Stephen Hauser, J. Jameson, Joseph Loscalzo, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011: 2887.

Mayo Clinic. Prolactinoma. In: Mayo Clinic, eds. Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. 4th ed. New York: Oxmoor House; 2009: 1448.

Buvat J. Hyperprolactenemia and sexual function in men: a short review. Int J Impot Res. 2003;15:373-7.

Mancini T. Casanueva FF, Giustina A. Hyperprolactinemia and Prolactinomas. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008;37(1):67.

Berdanier C. Hormones. In: Berdanier C, eds. Advanced Nutrition; Macro Nutrients. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press. 2000: 213-256.

Ivy JL. Role of carbohydrate in physical activity. Clin Sports Med. 1999;18:469-84.

Goodson SG, Qiu Y, Sutton KA, Xie G, Jia W, O'Brien DA. Metabolic substrates exhibit differential effects on functional parameters of mouse sperm capacitation. Biol Reprod. 2012;87(3):75.

Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet. Hormones. In: Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet, eds. Biochemistry. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004: 1361.

John Bray. Reproductive system. In: Bray J, Cragg P, Macknight A, Mills R, eds. Lecture Notes on Human Physiology. 4th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley; 1999: 264-269.

Zini, A. Libman, J. Sperm DNA damage: importance in the era of assisted reproduction. Curr Opin Urol. 2006;16(6):428-34.

Agrawal A. Said TM. Role of sperm chromatin abnormalities in DNA damage in male infertility. Hum Reprod Update. 2003;9(3):341-5.

Mandkad M, Safhawara NG, Doshi H, Saiyed HN, Kumar S. Seminal plasma zinc concentration and alpha-glycosidase activity with respect to Semen quality. Bio Trace Elem Res. 2006;110(2):97-106.

Guyton A, Hall J. Body and control of the internal environment. In: Guyton A, Hall J, eds. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 12th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Inc.; 2006: 1003-1008.