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Effects of the crude extract of Polygala tenuifolia Willd on human sperm in vitro

Yi QIU,Lei-guang WANG,Yi-fang JIA,Dan-tong YANG,Mei-hua ZHANG,Yan-ping ZHANG,Li-hong ZHANG,Ling GAI (Key Laboratory for Improving Birth Outcome Technique,Shandong Provincial Institute of Science and Technology for Family Planning,Jinan 250002,China)  
The aim of the present study is to analyze sperm membrane changes and the spermicidal effect in treatment with the crude extract from Polygala tenuifolia Willd (PTW) in vitro.The root of PTW was extracted in distilled water.Normal human spermatozoa were used to assess the spermicidal activity (Sander-Cramer assay) of the extract from the PTW root.The hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test and the eosin Y (EY) staining were used to detect the integrity of sperm membrane and vitality.The sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test was performed to determine sperm DNA integrity.N-9 was used as a reference standard and semen added to physiological saline was used as the control.Semen samples were donated by 42 healthy fertile men.The crude extract from the root of PTW could immobilize and kill 100% spermatozoa within 20 s in vitro at the concentrations of 20.0 and 10.0 mg/ml;at the concentration of 5.0 mg/ml,spermatozoa were immobilized in (39.5±3.2) s.In the groups of the crude extract from the root of PTW and N-9 solution,the rate of the normal HOS (tails swollen) and the white head (unstained) was 0%,and the rate of the abnormal HOS (tails unswollen) and red head (stained) was 100%.Sperm DNA fragmentation showed no change in exposure to the crude extract from the root of PTW and N-9 solution.The sperm revival test did not show any spermatozoa that recovered their motilities.The rapid spermicidal activity of the crude extract from the root of PTW in vitro may occur by the disruption of the sperm membrane integrity.
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