A key hallmark in diabetes is altered reproductive functions. Kigelia africana is reported to offer therapeutic influence in diabetes. However, literature offers nothing concerning its ability to reverse reproductive complications of diabetes. This study investigates the effect of the ethanolic extract of Kigelia africana (EEKA) on reproductive functions in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rats. Thirty adult male Wistar rats (150-200 g) were randomly divided into five groups; Group 1 (control) received distilled water (vehicle). Group 2 was treated with 250 mg/kg EEKA. Groups 3, 4, and 5 were made diabetic using streptozotocin. Thereafter, groups 4 and 5 were treated with 250 mg/kg EEK and glibenclamide respectively. Treatments were by oral gavage for six weeks. Bodyweight and blood glucose, liver enzymes and proteins, superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde activity (MDA), testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), sperm count, and motility was assessed. EEKA treatment significantly reduced blood glucose in diabetic rats. Serum testosterone was significantly reduced in the diabetic group. However, treatment with EEKA significantly modulated the reduction. EEKA treatment in diabetic rats significantly increased serum LH. Therapeutic EEKA treatment in diabetic rats significantly reversed reduced sperm count and motility. EEKA treatment in the diabetic group reduced MDA activity while significantly enhancing SOD activity. The significant increases in serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase were significantly reduced with EEKA treatment in the diabetic group. Total protein and albumin were significantly reduced in the diabetic group but significantly reversed with EEKA treatment. Therapeutic administration of EEKA reduced hyperglycemia, enhanced sperm count, motility, and serum testosterone levels in diabetic rats. Phytochemical constituents and robust antioxidant activity of EEKA is involved in the modulation and reversal of diabetes and impaired reproductive parameters.
Key words: Kigelia africana, diabetic male rats, sperm parameters, testosterone, oxidative biomarkers