Livestock Research for Rural Development 31 (3) 2019 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

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Effect of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome on testicular morphometry and sperm characteristics of West African Dwarf goats

L I Mhomga, C O Nwosu1, B N Marire2, D S Adi3 and T Tughgba3

Department of Animal Health and Production, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria
mhomga@yahoo.com
1 Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Theriogenology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

Abstract

This study was designed to measure the effect of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome powder on testicular morphometry and semen quality in West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks. Twenty-five WAD bucks aged 6 - 8 months were assigned to five treatments representing levels of 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40% of C. planchonii rhizome powder in the concentrate which was fed at 250g/d as a supplement to 1 kg/d of Andropogon gayanus grass. Feed intake was measured daily while testicular parameters and sperm characteristics were assessed on day 84.

The weight, length and diameter of the testes were not affected by the presence of C. planchonii in the diet. Most criteria related to the Epididymis indicated an increase in weight and dimension as the level of C. planchonii rhizome increased to 12% in the diet and then declined at a level of 28%. Total sperm count, concentration and motility increased with curvilinear trends as the rhizome of Cochlospermum planchonii was added to the diet of WAD goats, with maximum benefits at the 12% level (in diet DM). The decrease in sperm quality with 28% dietary level of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome was apparently due to reduced feed intake.

Keywords: epididymis, feed intake, motility, sperm count, testes


Introduction

Sperm production capacity of the male animal is measured by the level of testicular development (Agga et al 2011; Abasi and Nsikat 2015). Well developed and heavier testes are known to produce more spermatozoa than smaller testes (Britto et al 2004). Testicular size is significantly correlated with luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone concentrations (Akpa et al 2012). A positive relationship has been shown to exist between semen quality and testicular dimensions, which means that an improvement in one, will lead to improvement in the other (Akpa et al 2012). Testicular measurement and the changes that occur from birth to sexual maturity have been reported in bucks, rams and bulls (Setchell 1978; Willis 2001; Dyce et al 2002; Bitto and Egbunike 2006).

Medicinal plants have been used to enhance the reproductive capacity of livestock and as remedies in the treatment of reproductive diseases (Ayoka et al 2008). The advantage of using preparations from plants is their availability and safety (Saleh et al 2015). Cochlospermum planchonii (Photo 1) is a West African species of shrub with a woody subterranean rootstock from the family Cochlospermaceae, and has several therapeutic uses (Igoli et al 2005). In the Ivory Coast, the root is used to treat schistosomiasis, jaundice, fever and back pains while in Senegal, it is used to treat jaundice, intestinal worms, bilhaziasis and hepatitis (Blench 2007). A concoction of the fresh root in combination with fresh stem bark of Erythrina senegalensis is used for the treatment of stomach disorders, typhoid and urinary tract infections (Togotla et al 2008). Abu et al (2012) demonstrated the effect of aqueous ethanolic extract of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome on spermatogenesis in male albino rats. However, there is dearth of information on the effect of C. planchonii on the reproductive functions of ruminants, although the plant is used by herdsmen as an anthelmintic in the study area.

Photo 1. Cochlospermum planchonii showing leaves, fruits and flower

The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of dietary inclusions of C. planchonii rhizome on the morphometry of the testes and sperm characteristics of West African Dwarf bucks.


Materials and methods

Location of the study

The study was conducted at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Complex, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State. Makurdi is located within the Guinea Savanna Zone at longitude 7o 47’ E and latitude 6o 25’ N, with an undulating topography of 1,500m to 3,000m.

Plant collection and processing

Rhizomes of Cochlospermum planchonii were collected around the premises of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi in the month of March. The rhizomes were peeled and carefully separated into small strands which were allowed to dry under the shade for 7-8 days. The dried plant material was milled into a coarse powder using a hammer milling machine and stored until needed for use.

Experimental animals

Intact male WAD goats (n=25) were sourced from a local goat market and housed in induvial pens. They were dewormed using 2.5 % oral suspension of Albendazole (Albidol, Concept Pharmaceuticals Ltd. India) at a dose of 7.5mg/kg live weigh. They were treated prophylactically against trypanosomosis using diminazene diaceturate (Dimaze , Vetoquinol India Animal Health Pvt Ltd.) at 3.5 mg/kg body weight and coccidiosis using 2.5 % oral suspension of Toltrazuril (Kepcox, Kepro B.V. Holland) at the dose of 20mg/kg body weight. They were also treated against external parasites (fleas, lice and ticks) using 0.6 % Permethrin powder which was dusted liberally all over the body of the animals. They were vaccinated against Peste Des Petit Ruminants (PPR), using Peste Des Petit Ruminant Vaccine ( NVRI, Vom, Nigeria).

Treatments and design

There were five treatments (CP0 to CP5 ): representing 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40% C. planchonii rhizome in the concentrate component of the diet (Table 1).

Table 1. Ingredients in the concentrate (% air-dry)

C. planchonii rhizome, % in concentrate

0

5

10

20

40

Maize

49

44

38

27

5

Soybean meal

13

13

14

15

17

Palm kernel cake

15

15

15

15

15

Rice bran

20

20

20

20

20

C. planchonii rhizome

0

5

10

20

40

Bone ash

2

2

2

2

2

Salt

1

1

1

1

1

Feeding

After being acclimatized for four weeks to the confinement system the goats were offered daily 1 kg fresh Andropogon gayanus (Gamba grass) and 250g concentrate. Every morning before fresh feed was given, leftover feed of the previous day was recovered and weighed.

Feed analysis

Samples of pulverised rhizome of Cochlospermum planchonii, maize, soybean meal, rice bran and palm kernel cake and Andropogon gayanus were oven dried at 600C and analysed according to the procedure of AOAC (2000). Neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) were determined according to the methods of Van Soest et al (1991) using an ANKOM 220 Fibre Analyzer (ANKOM Technology Corporation, NY, USA).

Testicular morphometry and sperm characteristics

Testicular measurements were done according to the method recommended by the Society of Theriogenology (Ball et al 1983). The testes were first retracted into the lower part of the scrotum for measurement of scrotal circumference. To prevent separation of the two testes, the thumb and the fingers were placed on the sides rather than on the front or back of the scrotum. Then a flexible cord was looped and placed around the greatest diameter of the scrotum and pulled tightly so that the cord was firmly in contact with the entire circumference. The cord was removed and stretched on a ruler and the measurement was taken. A local anaesthetic agent was used to infiltrate the scrotum and a scrotal incision was made with scalpel blade to exteriorize both the left and right testes. Immediately after removal, the length and width (cm) of the testes were measured by a cord and a ruler and the weight (g) was measured on a digital balance. The epididymis was carefully excised from the testis along the physiological joints and placed in a pre-warmed Petri dish containing physiological saline solution which was maintained at 370C. The absolute weight (g) of the entire epididymis, the head, body and tail of the epididymis were measured with a digital scale while the length and the width (cm) were measured with a flexible cord. Sperm cells in homogenized testicular, caput, corpus and caudal epididymal tissues were counted with the new improved Neubauer’s haemocytometer counting chamber for determination of the concentration of the spermatozoa. Sperm motility was also assessed immediately by counting both motile and immotile spermatozoa per unit area at the magnification of 40x as described by Amann and Lambiase (1969) and Igbokwe et al (2009).

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis was with SPSS version 21.0 for windows and results summarized as means standard errors of means. Data obtained for feed consumption were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA, while testicular and sperm parameters were analyzed by one way ANOVA. Variant means were separated by the Duncan’s multiple range test.


Results

Composition and intake of feeds

The C. planchonii rhizome was low in crude protein and in crude fiber (Table 2).

Table 2. Proximate composition of the diets

 

C. planchonii, % in concentrate

C. planch.

Forage

0

5

10

20

40

DM, %

93.5

94.1

91.2

94.2

94.1

89.2

90.1

As % in DM

CP

14.5

14.0

15.4

15.7

14.0

3.20

5.94

CF

5.89

7.38

8.68

10.1

16.0

18.1

39.9

EE

7.50

6.60

4.10

4.20

7.00

3.20

1.30

Ash

5.30

5.45

6.40

6.75

9.20

6.00

6.65

There were no differences in forage intake among treatments (Table 3). Intake of the concentrate declined with a curvilinear trend as the concentration of C. planchonii rhizome was increased (Figure 1).

Table 3. Feed intake of goats fed varying levels of C. planchonii rhizome

C. planchonii, % in concentrate

SEM

p

0

5

10

20

40

Forage,

213

213

218

213

208

1.47

0.34

Concentrate

208a

183a

185a

195a

144b

5.49

0.01

Total

421a

396a

403a

409a

352b

5.86

0.01

C. planchonii, % of diet DM

0

1.89

6.20

12.2

28.4

ab Means with different superscripts within a row differ at p<0.05



Figure 1. Concentrate intake decreased with a curvilinear trend as the
concentration of C. planchonii rhizome increased
Testicular morphometry

The weight, length and diameter of the testes were not affected by the presence of C. planchonii in the concentrate (Table 4). However, most criteria related to the Epididymis indicated an increase in weight and dimension as the level of C. planchonii increased to 20% in the concentrate and then declined a level of 40%. These changes appeared to be associated with the effect of C. planchonii on DM intake which was constant to 20% inclusion then decreased markedly at the 40% level.

Table 4. Effect of C. planchonii rhizome inclusion in diet of WAD goats on the weight of their reproductive organs

C. planchonii, % in concentrate

SEM

p

0

5

10

20

40

Testes

Weight, g

27.5

23.6

23.5

25.1

25.9

1.09

0.81

Length, cm

27.5

23.6

23.5

25.1

25.9

1.09

0.81

Diameter, cm

5.87

6.10

6.13

7.40

6.90

0.23

0.18

Epididymis

Absolute weight, g

3.60

3.84

4.62

4.96

3.82

0.2

0.10

Caput weight, g

1.56

1.65

1.78

2.22

1.74

0.1

0.25

Corpus weight, g

0.62

0.66

0.68

0.69

0.51

0.03

0.40

Caudal weight, g

1.18b

1.45ab

1.7ab

2.00a

1.55ab

0.11

0.15

Caput length, cm

2.73b

2.83b

3.00b

3.80a

2.83b

0.13

0.01

Corpus length, cm

4.87

5.23

5.53

5.73

4.63

0.19

0.36

Caudal length, cm

2.03

2.17

2.30

2.67

2.10

0.11

0.38

Caput diamet., cm

1.42b

1.72ab

1.99a

2.03a

0.95c

0.12

0.01

Corpus diamet, cm

0.67

0. 72

0.86

1.16

0.65

0.13

0.75

ab Means with different superscripts within a row differ at p<0.05

Sperm reserve and characteristics

The sperm count followed a curvilinear trend, increasing as the concentration of C. planchonii in the concentrate increased to 20%, then declining with increasing concentration of C. planchonii (Table 5; Figure 2). Similar trends were noted for sperm concentration (Figure 3) and sperm motility (Figure 4) although less accentuated in the latter case.

Table 5. Effect of C. planchonii rhizome on sperm characteristics

 

C. planchonii, % in concentrate

SEM

p

0

5

10

20

40

Sperm count, x10-9 

Testes

30.3

33.3

34.7

37.7

27.3

1.91

0.54

Epididymis  

Caput

114bc

123abc

136ab

151a

97.7c

6.17

0.03

Corpus

47.7

54.0

64.7

66.7

44.7

5.74

0.73

Caudal

297

302

317

342

225

24.6

0.70

Sperm motility (%)

91.0

95.3

96.3

98.0

95.0

1.02

0.29

Sperm conc.

210

238

250

291

221

11.9

0.24

abc Means with different superscripts within a row differ at p <0.05



Figure 2. Mean sperm count of WAD goats fed varying dietary
level of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome


Figure 3. Mean sperm concentration in WAD goats fed varying dietary
levels of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome


Figure 4. Sperm mobility in WAD goats fed varying dietary
levels of Cochlospermum planchonii rhizome


Discussion

Folklore points to many plant extracts being used to aid fertility. These include: Moringa oleifera (Varsha et al 2013), Aloe vera (Mehrdad and Alireza 2014), Zingiber officinale (Dalia 2010),Tribulus terrestris (Kistanova et al 2005),Asparagus racemous (Nantia et al 2009),Withania senticosus (Nantia et al 2009), Lophira lanceolata (Etuk and Muhammed 2009) and Cochlospermum planchonii (Abu et al 2012).

The positive effects of C. planchonii on sperm characteristics of WAD goats in the present study are in agreement with the report of Abu et al (2012) who administered varying concentrations of C. planchonii extract to male albino rats.


Conclusions


References

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Received 17 January 2019; Accepted 21 February 2019; Published 4 March 2019

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