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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760


GOMES, Marcos L M et al. Association of the infusion of Heteropterys aphrodisiaca and endurance training brings spermatogenetic advantages. Biol. Res. [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.3, pp.235-241. ISSN 0716-9760.

The species Heteropterys aphrodisiaca is commonly used as a stimulant by popular medicine in the Cerrado, a savanna-like biome, Brazil. Recent studies have proved its protective effects on testes of animals submitted to treatment using Cyclosporine A, as well as its stimulus effect in increasing testosterone secretion. Therefore, the present study was designed to analyze whether the association of the plant infusion and endurance exercise could potentiate the stimulating effect. The animals were separated into 4 groups: two control (sedentary and trained) receiving water and two treated (sedentary and trained) receiving the plant infusion daily (104mg/day). The proportion of the seminiferous tubule compartment and interstitium was analyzed. Within the seminiferous epithelium, the number of Sertoli and germ cells were counted in order to evaluate whether the treatment would alter the spermatogenic dynamics, analyzing: the spermatogenic yield, the mitotic and meiotic indexes, the total number of germ cells and the Sertoli cell support capacity. Trained and treated animals showed increased spermatogenic yield and spermatogonia mitosis, and no significant differences in apoptotic indexes. Despite the results showing the same pattern regarding yield and mitotic index, the meiotic index was higher in the sedentary/treated group. Therefore, the H. aphrodisiaca infusion increased both the testosterone production and the spermatogonia mitosis, thus increasing the spermatogenic yield.

Keywords : germ cells; phytotherapy; seminiferous epithelium; spermatogenesis; testosterone.

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