Background: Infertility is the first-rate public health trouble affecting one in five married couples globally, male causes embody a significant proportion. Natural products could be an alternative or complementary inexpensive treatment for such matters. Echinochrome (Ech) is a natural quinone pigment obtained from sea urchin, and it was confirmed to possess many pharmacological properties due to its chemical activity.
Objective: The current research paper was targeted to evaluate the potential effects of Ech on male fertility, and to highlight the possible involved mechanisms.
Methods: Eighteen adult male rats were randomly distributed into three groups: control (1 ml of 2% DMSO, p.o.), low dose Ech (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.), and high dose Ech (1 mg/kg p.o.).
Results: The high dose Ech caused a significant decline in the levels of glucose, ALT, AST, ALP, urea, Cr, uric acid, TG, TC and LDL-C and testicular tissue MDA, while it caused a significant rise in the levels of albumin, TP, HDL-C, FSH, LH, testosterone and testicular tissue GSH activity. Moreover, it showed a significant positive effect on the testis weight, caudal epididymis weight, sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, fructose concentration, and α-glucosidase activity. However, no significant changes were observed in histological examination of testicular tissue among all groups.
Conclusion: High dose Ech improved male rat-fertility either directly by activating the pituitary gonadal axis, and or indirectly via enhancing: the renal and hepatic functions, the lipid profile and or the antioxidant pathways.