Abstract— Agave sisalana (sisal) is a monocotyledonous plant of great economic interest because it is a source of hard fiber in semi-arid areas. It has also been widely used by rural smallholders for animal feed in several countries. The toxic effects of plant on the animal reproduction are unknown. Then, the study investigated the possible side effects of different extracts derived from the processing of sisal leaves on the reproductive organs weight and testicular tissue of adult rats. The animals were treated with the extract obtained by acid hydrolysis (100 mg/kg body weight– b.w.; EHA/100), dry precipitate extract (250 and 500 mg/kg b.w.; EPS/250 and EPS/500), hexane extract (50 and 100 mg/kg b.w.; HEX/50 and HEX/100) or distilled water (Control group). Treatments were performed daily for 30 consecutive days, oral route (gavage) a single time daily. The results showed that in the group treated with EHA/100 extract only the weight of the seminal vesicles has been changed, but in the EPS/250, EPS/500, HEX/50 and HEX/100 groups there was significant increase (p<0.05) in the testes, epididymides and seminal glands weight, in comparison to the control group. All groups treated with the different extracts showed histopathological changes in the testes, characterized mainly by depletion of seminiferous epithelium, detachment of immature germ cells, scarcity sperm in the tubular lumen and interstitial hemorrhage, which occurred in a dose-independent manner in EPS and HEX groups. In conclusion, the different extracts of A. sisalana changed the reproductive organs weight and were promoters from gonadotoxic effect in rats.
Keywords— steroidal saponins, reproduction, testicular tissue.
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