Immobilization effect of Rutagraveolens L. on human sperm: Anew hope for male contraception
Being both an ancient and a modernconcept, male contraception is aninteresting matter of investigation.Contraceptive plants which wereintroduced by folk in traditionalremedies are investigated worldwide. Inthis study, the contraceptive effects ofRuta graveolens L., which has beenmentioned for male contraceptive inIranian traditional folk medicine, wasexperimented on human spermDifferent doses of lyophilized aqueousextract of Ruta graveolens L. wereadded to an amount of fresh semen,containing 10 6 cells in a 1:1 volumicratio. To unravel the mode of Rutagraveolens L. action, motility andviability of cells, DNA status,mitochondrial activity and spermrevival tests were carried out. Thesperm immobilization effects of theextract appeared immediately in a doesdependentmanner and 100% of thesperms became immotile at aconcentration of 100 mg/ml butviability of cells, DNA status andmitochondrial function were intact.After washing the sperms twice withphosphate buffer saline solution,motility was observed in 30.8 ± 3.2% ofthe sperms, besides coiled tails in 38.6± 5.5% of the treated cells, incomparison to 12.5 ± 2.0 % of thecontrol group (p = 0.001). The part ofthe extract, responsible forimmobilization of the sperms wasstable upon boiling. As the cells werealive and immotile, probably someionic currents are blocked by a thermostable component of the plant whichcan be promising as a new malechannel blocker contraceptive.