Past Issue

Volume 10, Number 2, Jul-Sep 2016, Pages: 239-244

Effect of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal on Sex Hormone and Gonadotropin Levels in Addicted Male Rats

Batool Rahmati, Ph.D, 1, Mohammad Hassan Ghosian Moghaddam, Ph.D, 2, Mohsen Khalili, Ph.D, 1, Ehsan Enayati, M.D, 3, Maryam Maleki, M.D, 2, *, Saeedeh Rezaeei, M.Sc, 3,
Neurophysiology Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Address: P.O.Box: 141557435 Department of Biochemistry Faculty of Medicine Shahed University 29 AbdollahZadeh Street Keshavarz Bouevard Tehran Iran



Opioid consumption has been widely increasing across the globe; how- ever, it can cause adverse effects on the body. Morphine, an opioid, can reduce sex hor- mones and fertility. Withania somnifera (WS) is a traditional herb used to improve sexual activities. This study strives to investigate the effect of WS on sex hormones and gonado- tropins in addicted male rats.

Materials and Methods

In this experimental study, forty-eight male National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) rats were randomly divided into four groups: i. Control group, ii. WS-treated control group, iii. Addicted group, and iv. WS-treated addicted group. Wa- ter-soluble morphine was given to rats for 21 days to induce addiction, concurrently the treated groups (2 and 4) also received WS plant-mixed pelleted food (6.25%). At the end of the treatment, the sex hormone and gonadotropin levels of the rats’ sera were deter- mined in all the groups.


Except for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), morphine reduced most of the gonadotropin and sex hormone levels. Whereas WS caused a considerable increase in the hormones in the treated addicted group, there was only a slight increase in the treated control group.


WS increased sex hormones and gonadotropins-especially testosterone, es- trogen, and luteinizing hormone-in the addicted male rats and even increased the proges- terone level, a stimulant of most sex hormones in addicted male rats.