Background and aims: Chronic stress is a major common cause of male infertility. Many species of velvet beans are shown to be rich in L-DOPA. In Thai folklore medicine, seeds of Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. pruriens (Thai Mhamui or T-MP) have been used for treating erectile dysfunction. This study aimed to determine L-DOPA levels in T-MP seed extract and investigate its preventive on sexual behaviors and reproductive parameter damages including essential proteins in chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) mice. Experimental procedure: Mice were divided into 4 groups: (I) control, (II) CUMS, (III) T-MP300 + CUMS, and (IV) T-MP600 + CUMS. Groups I and II received DW while groups III and IV were pretreated with the seed extracts (300 and 600 mg/kg BW) for 14 consecutive days before co-treatment with a randomly different CUMS/day (from 12 mild stressors) for 43 days. Results and conclusion: T-MP seed extract contained L-DOPA approximately 10% of total dried weight. A dose of 600 mg/kg improved sexual performances and degenerative seminiferous epithelium in CUMS mice. Sperm qualities and testosterone level were elevated while corticosterone was decreased in co-treatment groups. T-MP-CUMS cotreated groups also improved expressions of AKAP4, AR, and TyrPho proteins in testis, epididymis, and sperm. T-MP increased StAR and CYP11A1 expressions in testis. It also suppressed testicular apoptosis via decreased expressions of Hsp70, caspases 3, and 9. T-MP seeds containing L-DOPA could improve sexual behaviors and essential reproductive proteins caused by CUMS. Section: Natural Products; Taxonomy (classification by evise): Traditional Herbal Medicine; Animal Model; Histopathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine