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Original Articles Open Access
Portulaca oleracea is a fleshy annual herb which is distributed throughout the temperate and tropical areas of the world. The crude extracts of this plant caused significant decreases in testosterone levels in male rats. Air- dried specimen of Portulaca oleracea was cold-extracted in methanol for 72 hours. The resulting methanol extract was then subjected to open column chromatography for fractionation. Out of the 5 fractions obtained, fraction 3 was then subjected to male rats’ hormonal bioassays. Twenty male rats were divided into control and fraction 3(1, 2, 3 mg/kg) treated groups (5 per group) for hormonal assay study. The animals were orally treated on daily basis for 50 days and allowed a recovery (withdrawal) period of 50 days after which hormonal assays were carried out at the end of dosing and recovery periods. Plasma LH, FSH and testosterone levels were assayed using Enzyme – Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique. Treatment of rats for 50 days with fraction 3 (1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg) caused significant (p<0.05) reductions in LH levels relative to the control. Fraction 3 (3 mg/kg) caused significant (p<0.05) increase in FSH level relative to the control. There was a significant (p<0.05) decrease in LH level of fraction 3 (3 mg/kg) recovery group relative to the control. Fraction 3 (1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg) caused significant (p<0.05) increase in testosterone levels relative to the control. It can therefore be concluded that fraction 3 of Portulaca oleracea probably induced significant changes on plasma gonadotrophins and testosterone levels through the hypothalamic – pituitary – testicular axis which could result in sterility.
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Author(s): Oyedeji K Olusina Adegoke Olajire and Oladosu I Adebayo
Fraction 3, Testosterone, Luteinizing hormone (LH), Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Rats