Aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seeds suppresses testicular steroidogenesis in mice leydig cells in vitro

Sheikh A. Saeed, Naheed Anwar, Qaiser Jabeen, Anwar H. Gilani

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Nigella sativa (black seed) is an important medicinal herb with folkloric use in wide range of diseases. It is well studied for its biological activities. However, there is limited information regarding its effect on the male reproductive system. This study describes the effect of the aqueous extract of N. sativa (NSE) on testicular steroidogenesis from mice Leydig cells in vitro. Mice testicular cells were incubated in a media containing either no treatment or NSE or LH alone or combination of LH and NSE. Incubations were carried out for three hours in a shaking water bath at 34°C. Testosterone was measured by radioimmunoassay. At all doses, NSE significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited both basal and LH-stimulated in vitro testosterone secretion. At a dose of l000 μg, NSE inhibited 52% of basal testosterone and 97% of LH-stimulated testosterone, compared to control (0.32 ± 0.008 ng/ml) and LH alone (0.33 ± 0.01 ng/ml) respectively. Thus, it is concluded that that both the basal and the LH-stimulated secretion of testosterone from Leydig cells are suppressed significantly in the presence of different doses of NSE in vitro. However, further studies are needed to explore the effect of chronic treatment with NSE in male and its potential to be used as a contraceptive in male.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalIranian Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous extract
  • Black seed
  • Leydig cell
  • Male reproductive system
  • Nigella sativa
  • Testosterone


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