Sida cordifolia Linn. finds frequent mention in Ayurvedic System of Medicine for many therapeutic properties including beneficial effect upon male reproductive processes. Aim of present in vitro study was to evaluate impact of aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia roots on rat spermatozoa in terms of count, motility & morphology and through HOS study following standard assessment methods to assess any likely reproductive toxicity, spermicidal action, lethality or abnormalities in animal experimentation. Sexually mature (18-22 weeks old) male Wister rats weighing 180 to 260 gm were used. Sperms were collected from cauda epididymis of rat testes and sperm suspension was prepared by mixing them with 2 ml of 5% Sucrose at 37°C, dividing into 4 samples – control (A) and 3 drug treated samples (B, C & D) containing 10, 20 or 30 mg/ml of aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia. The various sperm parameters were observed under Olympus CX41 microscope. Sperm concentration, Progressive and Non-Progressive motility were calculated using the Neubauer Chamber. The viability and morphology of sperm suspensions were assessed using Eosin Y and Nigrosin staining method using 400 X magnification under Phase contrast microscope. Hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test was used to evaluate the functional integrity of plasma membrane. Treatment with aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia resulted in no significant adverse impact upon sperm count up to 30 mg/ml dose, suggesting no noticeable spermicidal effect. Progressive motility increased marginally due to intervention of Sida cordifolia in a concentration-dependent manner from 40.00±1.07 in Sample A to 43.50± 2.05 in Sample D. Similarly, percentage of normal sperms and their viability exhibited steady enhancements with increasing concentrations of research drug. The HOS test indicated no adverse structural changes in plasma membrane integrity of sperms up to 30mg/ml level. Thus, in vitro assessment of sperm motility, morphology and viability due to treatment with Sida cordifolia aqueous extract indicated no spermicidal or toxic effect and indicated small but significant enhancement in various parameters which was concentration-dependent.
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