The influence of hollyhock extract administration on testicular function in rats

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SummaryIt has been reported, recently that an aqueous extract from hollyhock flowers (Althaea rosea Cav. varietas nigra) induces weak metabolic changes in rat testes. In the present study, the in vivo influence of a methanolic extract was investigated on the metabolism and morphology of the rat testis. To this end, histochemical, morphometric and radioimmunological methods were used. The rats drank the extract at a dose of 100 mg/day for 7 weeks. The histochemical activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and Δ53β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (Δ53βHSD) increased significantly statistically in the Leydig cells of the experimental rats in comparison with controls. There were no significant changes in either the diameter of seminiferous tubules or the height of seminiferous epithelium after hollyhock administration. Further, only a small amount of hyperplasia of the interstitial tissue was observed. The morphological and histoenzymatic changes in the Leydig cells indicate that the methanolic hollyhock extract has a direct but small influence on rat testes. The insignificant changes in testicular testosterone and estradiol content suggest that the extract does not disturb steroidogenesis.

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