Biomedical Research

- Biomedical Research (2006) Volume 17, Issue 1

The effect of Smilax calophylla on testicular 11?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity and plasma testosterone levels in rats

The present study documented the effect of Smilax calophylla “Akar dawai”, used tradition-ally in Malaysia as a male sexual tonic on the plasma testosterone (T) levels and testicular 11 β -hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11 β -HSD) activity in the adult male Wistar rats. The ac-tivity of testicular 11 β -HSD was determined as the percentage conversion of corticosterone to 11 -dehydrocorticosterone while plasma T levels were determined by using Coat-A-Count Diagnostic Kit. Administration of Akar dawai water extract (AD) at the dose of 8mg/kg body weight for seven consecutive days resulted in an attenuated testicular 11 β -HSD activ-ity (p<0.05) whereas the plasma T levels remained unchanged. Exogenous corticosterone (CORT), on the other hand, was found to reduce testicular 11 β -HSD activity (p<0.001) as well as plasma T levels (p<0.05) compared to that of the control. However, treatment of AD given to the CORT-primed rats evidently increased testicular 11 β -HSD activity (p<0.001) as well as plasma T levels (p<0.05) compared to rats treated with CORT alone. Since AD is found to be able to neutralize the CORT-associated reduction in testicular steroidogenesis, it is, therefore, proposed that the stress-induced androgen deficiency could possibly be recti-fied by AD.

Author(s): Nuraliza AS, Nwe KHH, Morat PB, Hamid A and Khalid BAK

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