Green Brazilian Propolis Effects on Sperm Count and Epididymis Morphology and Oxidative Stress
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Available online 21 August 2012
Basal generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is essential for male reproductive function, whereas high ROS levels may be linked to low quality of sperm and male infertility. The number of antioxidants known to inflict damage is growing, and it will be of interest to study natural products, which may have this activity. Since the epididymis is known to play an important role in providing the microenvironment for sperm maturation and storage of sperm, this study was undertaken to evaluate the morphometric-stereological and functional alterations in the epididymis after chronic treatment with low doses of Brazilian green propolis, which is known for its antioxidant properties.
For this purpose, forty-eight adult male Wistar rats were treated with 3, 6 and 10 mg/kg/day of aqueous extract of Brazilian green propolis during 56 days and morphological parameters, sperm production and number of sperm in rat epididymis and oxidative stress levels were analyzed.
The results showed higher sperm production and greater epithelium height of the epididymis initial segment and no induction of oxidative stress in treated animals. Further studies are needed to fully understand the effects of propolis on the reproductive system but our results showed that it could alter male reproductive function.
► Administration of Brazilian green propolis induced alterations in the morphophysiology of reproductive organs. ► Brazilian green propolis induced higher sperm production. ► Propolis increased epithelium height of epididymis initial segment epididymis. ► Propolis did not induce increase on epididymis oxidative stress level.