Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 1195–1202 | Cite as

Effect of dietary inclusion of small quantities of Mucuna pruriens seed meal on sexual behavior, semen characteristics, and biochemical parameters in rabbit bucks (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

  • V. B. MutweduEmail author
  • R. B. B. Ayagirwe
  • S. B. Bacigale
  • L. M. Mwema
  • S. Butseme
  • T. Kashosi
  • B. Mitima
  • G. J. Manyawu
  • A. W. Nyongesa
Regular Articles


The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of Mucuna pruriens seed meal (MSM) on sexual behavior, semen, and biochemical parameters in rabbit bucks. Twenty-four 12-week-old rabbit bucks weighing 1002 to 1156 g were randomly allocated to three experimental diets containing 0, 1.5, and 3% of MSM in a 3-month trial. Sexual behavior parameters such as mounting latency, mounting frequency, successful mounting frequency, intromission latency, and post ejaculatory interval were monitored at the end of the experiment by mating with receptive females. Thereafter, rabbits were weighed, stunned, and humanely sacrificed and testes, epididymis, and vas deferens were harvested for evaluation of organ weights and semen characteristics. Results indicate that supplementing rabbit diet with MSM induced a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in mounting latency (69.7%) and intromission latency (19.7%), while it significantly (P < 0.05) increased successful mounting frequency (60%) as well as relative weight of testis (33.3%) and vas deferens (54.5%). There was a dose-dependent increase (P < 0.05) in sperm motility (35.7%) and concentration (65.9%), serum albumin (19.1%) and protein concentration (9.9%), and a decrease in sperm morphological alterations (68.3%), serum cholesterol (13.4%), and urea (11.6%) in treatment groups where MSM was supplemented at 3% compared to controls. From the findings, it appears MSM is a potential enhancer of male reproductive performance that can be recommended to rabbit farmers for improving reproductive performance and quality of semen, hence a boon to reproduction and production in rabbit farming industry.


Aphrodisiac Sexual behavior Small livestock Velvet bean 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Université Evangélique en Afrique, Bukavu, DR Congo, for providing technical and laboratory supports. Dr. B. L. Maass, Germany, is thanked for reviewing an earlier draft of this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Statement of animal rights

The experimental protocol was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Université Evangélique en Afrique, and the experiments were performed in accordance with the internationally accepted standard ethical guidelines for laboratory animal use and care as described in the European Community guidelines; EEC Directive 86/609/EEC, of the 24th November 1986.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Abdelmoneim, A., AbouShabana, N., Khadre, S. and Abdel, K., 2008. Physiological and histopathological effects in cat fish (Clarias lazera) exposed to dyestuff and chemical water. International Journal of Zoology Research, 4(4), 189–202.Google Scholar
  2. Adebowale, Y.A., Adeyemi, I.A. and Oshodi, A.A., 2005. Functional and physicochemical properties of flours of six Mucuna species. African Journal of Biotechnology, 4(12), 1461–1468.Google Scholar
  3. Ahangarpour, A., Oroojan, A.A. and Heydari, H., 2013. Effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of Dorema aucheri on serum levels of testosterone, FSH and sperm count in nicotinamide-STZ-induced diabetic rat models. Zanjan University of Medical Sciences Journal, 21, 22–31.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmad, M.K., Mahdi, A.A., Shukla, K.K., Islam, N., Jaiswar, S.P. and Ahmad, S., 2008. Effect of Mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men. Fertility and Sterility, 90 (3), 9.Google Scholar
  5. Ajayi, A.F., Raji, Y. and Togun, V., 2009. Caudal epididymal sperm characteristics and testicular morphometrics of rabbits fed graded levels of a blood-wild sunflower leaf meal (BWSLM) mixture diet. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 6(1), 26.Google Scholar
  6. Ajayi, A.F. and Raji Y., 2012. Haematological and serum biochemical indices of prepubertal male rabbits fed with graded level of bloodwild sunflower forage meal mixture. African Journal of Biotechnology, 11(35), 8730–8734.Google Scholar
  7. Alçiçek, A., Bozkurt, M. and Çabuk, M., 2004. The effect of a mixture of herbal essential oils, an organic acid or a probiotic on broiler performance. SouthAfrican Journal ofAnimal Science, 34, 217–222.Google Scholar
  8. Alo, M.N., Okeh, O.C., Anyim, C. and Orji, J.O., 2012. The effects of ethanol extract of Mucuna pruriens leaves on aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase in albino rats. Journal Natural Production Plant Resource, 2(4),465–470.Google Scholar
  9. Amorim, E.A.M., Torres, C.A.A., Graham, J.K., Amorim, L.S. and Santos, L.V.L., 2009. The hypoosmotic swelling test in fresh rabbit spermatozoa. Animal Reproduction Science, 111, 338–343.Google Scholar
  10. Ansoms, A. and Marivoet, W., 2009. Profil socio-économique du Sud-Kivu et futures pistes de recherche. L’Afrique des grands lacs: annuaire 2009/2010, 259–271.Google Scholar
  11. Association of Official and Analytical Chemist (A.O.A.C), 1990. Official Methods of Analysis, 15th Ed. Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  12. Bhatia, D.K., Sharma, A.K., Pathania, P.C. and Khanduri, N.C., 2010. Anti-fertility effects of crude different of Adiantum lunulatum Burm. on Reproductive Organs of male albino rats. Biological Forum — An International Journal, 2(2), 88–93.Google Scholar
  13. Chakoma, I., Manyawu, G., Gwiriri, L., Moyo, S. and Dube, S., 2016. The agronomy and use of Mucuna pruriens in smallholder farming systems in southern Africa. ILRI extension brief. Nairobi, Kenya : ILRI. Accessed 15 Sept 2018.Google Scholar
  14. Chika, C.I., Luka, M. and Azubuike U.S., 2017. Effect of Securidaca longepedunculata root-bark methanol extract on testicular morphometry of New Zealand rabbits. Journal of veterinary medicine and animal health, 9(12), 361–367. Google Scholar
  15. Cicero, A.F.G., Bandieri, E. and Arletti R., 2001. Lepidium meyenii Walp. improves sexual behaviour in male rats independently from its action on spontaneous locomotor activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 75(2–3), 225–229.Google Scholar
  16. Cook, B.G., Pengelly, B.C., Brown, S.D., Donnelly, J.L., Eagles, D.A., Franco, M.A., Hanson, J., Mullen, B.F., Partridge, I.J., Peters, M. and Schultze-Kraft, R., 2005. Tropical forages. CSIRO, DPI&F(Qld), CIAT and ILRI, Brisbane, Australia. Accessed 20 Feb 2018.Google Scholar
  17. Dahouda, M., Toleba, S.S., Youssao, A.K.I., Mama Ali, A.A., Dangou-Sapoho, R.K., Ahounou, S.G., Hambuckers, A. and Hornick, J-L., 2009. The effects of raw and processed Mucuna pruriens seed based diets on the growth parameters and meat characteristics of Benin local Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris, L). International Journal of Poultry Science, 8(9), 882–889.Google Scholar
  18. Daramola, J.O., Abiona, J.A., Olusiji, F.S., Olubukola, A.I., Sowande, O.S., Olaniyi, M.O. and Olanite, J.A., 2015. Effect of Mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) on spermiograms of west african dwarf bucks. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 18, 145–150.Google Scholar
  19. Diaz-Arjonilla, M., Schwarcz, M., Swerdloff, R. and Wang, C., 2009. Obesity, low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction. International Journal on Impotence Research, 21, 89–98.Google Scholar
  20. Douthwaite, B., Manyong, V.M., Keatinge, J.D.H. and Chianu, J., 2002. The adoption of alley farming and Mucuna: lessons for research, development and extension. Agroforestry Systems, 56, 193–202.Google Scholar
  21. EEC, 1986. Council Directive 86/609/EEC of 24 November 1986 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administration provisions of the Member States regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes. Official journal of the European Communities, 358, 1–29.Google Scholar
  22. El-Kholy, K.H., Seleem, T.S.T., El-Aasar, T.A. and Abdelharith, A.H., 2008. Effect of dietary addition of Arak (Salvadora persica) on growth and reproductive performance in black baladi rabbit males; World Rabbit Science, 16, 21–27.Google Scholar
  23. Ezeagu, I.E., Maziya-Dixon, B., and Tarawali, G., 2003. Seed characteristics and nutrient and antinutrient composition of 12 Mucuna accessions from Nigeria. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 1, 129–139.Google Scholar
  24. FAO/WHO., 2009. Seventieth rapport of joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food additives. Evaluation of certain veterinary drug residues in food: eighty-fifth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. World Health Organization. Accessed 2 March 2018.Google Scholar
  25. Farouk, B., Abdelkrim, B., Malika, B.S., Badreddine, A.K., Djallel, E.H. and Nasreddine, T., 2013. Ameliorative effects of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil on fertility in male rats exposed to manganese. Advances in sexual medicine, 3(4), 85–91.Google Scholar
  26. Gayrard V., 2007. Physiologie de la reproduction des mammifères. Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Unité de Physiologie, 198Google Scholar
  27. George, O.S, Ologbose, F.I. and Akintola, O.A.I., 2017. Sperm characteristics of rabbit bucks fed graded levels of Moringa (Moringa Oleifera) leaf meal. Scientia Agriculturae, 20(3).Google Scholar
  28. Gill, L.S., 1992. Ethnomedical Uses of Plants in Nigeria, University of Benin Press, Benin, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  29. Gornal, A.G., Bardwil, G.S and David, M.M., 1949. Determination of Serum Proteins by Mean of Biuret Reactions. Biological Chemistry, 177, 751–766.Google Scholar
  30. Hafez, E.S. and Hafez, S.D., 2005. Erectile dysfunction: anatomical parameters, etiology, diagnosis, and therapy. Archives of Andrology, 51, 15–31.Google Scholar
  31. Hnatyszyn, O., Moscatelli, V. and Rondina, R., 2004. Flavonoids from Achyrocline satureioides with relaxant effects on the smooth muscle of Guinea pig corpus cavernosum. Phytomedicine, 11(4), 366–369.Google Scholar
  32. Iyayi, E.A. and Taiwo, V.O., 2003. The effect of diets incorporating Mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) seed meal on the performance of laying hens and broilers. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 1, 239–246.Google Scholar
  33. Johnson, D.N. and Diamond, M., 1969. Yohimbine and sexual stimulation in the male rat. Physiology and Behaviour, 4(3), 411–413.Google Scholar
  34. Misra, L., Mishra, H.O. and Wagner, H., 2004. Biologically active principles from Mucuna pruriens seeds, IUPAC International Conference on Biodiversity and Natural Products: Chemistry and Medicinal Applications, 26–31 Jan., Delhi University, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  35. Mohammed, A. and Engidawork, E., 2011. Reproductive parameters are differentially altered following subchronic administration of Catha edulis F. (Khat) extract and cathinone in male rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 134, 977–983.Google Scholar
  36. Mommsen, T.P. and Walsh, P.J., 1992. Biochemical and environmental perspectives on nitrogen metabolism in fishes. Experientia, 48,583–593.Google Scholar
  37. Mutwedu, V.B, Ayagirwe, R.B.B., Metre, K.T., Mugumaarhahama, Y., Sadiki, J.M. and Bisimwa, E.B., 2015. Rabbit production systems under smallholder conditions in South Kivu, Eastern DRC. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Google Scholar
  38. Ngoula, F., Nouboudem, S.C., Kenfack, A., Tadondjou, C.D., Kana, J.R., Kouam, J.M., Tsafack, B., Ngoumsop, V.H., Nguemdjo, M., Akassa, H., Ousmane, I.A., Kamtchouing, P., Galeotti, M. and Tchoumboue, J., 2014. Effect of guava (psiduim guajava) leaves essential oil on some reproductive parameters in male guinea pig (Cavia porcellus). Biological systems, 3(1), 1–4.Google Scholar
  39. Ngoula, F., Ngoumtsop, V.H., Ngouateu, K.O.B., Kenfack, A., Mutwedu, V., Nguemmogne, T.G., Tchoffo, H.A., Kana, D., Deutcheu, S. and Manjeli Y., 2017. Antouka Super® induced oxidative stress and reproductive toxicity in male Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Heliyon 3 (2017) e00410.
  40. NRC, 1977. Nutrient requirements of Rabbits. Washington, DC: The National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  41. Onifade, A.A. and Tewe, O.O., 1993. Alternative tropical energy feed resources in rabbits’ diets: growth performance, diets digestibility and blood composition. World Rabbits Science, 23, 141–142.Google Scholar
  42. Oyeyemi, M.O. and Okediran, B.S., 2007. Testicular parameters and sperm morphology of chinchilla rabbits fed with different planes of soy meal. International Journal of Morphology, 25(1),139–144.Google Scholar
  43. Phillips-Farfan, B.V. and Fernandez-Guasti, A., 2009. Endocrine, neural and pharmacological aspects of sexual satiety in male rats. Neuroscience Biobehave, 33, 442–455.Google Scholar
  44. Revell, S.G. and Mrod, R.A., 1994. An osmotic resistance test for bovine semen. Animal Reproduction Science, 36,77–86.Google Scholar
  45. Saleh, J.L., Njidda, A.A., Adeniji, A.A. and Lawan, G.B., 2014. Haematological and biochemical indices of rabbits fed graded levels browse forage (Balanitesa aegyptiaca) in semiarid environment. Global Journal of science Frontier Research. 14(2), 43–48.Google Scholar
  46. Sanna, F., Contini, A., Melis, M.R. and Argiolas, A., 2015. Role of dopamine D4 receptors in copulatory behaviour: studies with selective D4 agonists and antagonists in male rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behaviour, 137, 110–118. Google Scholar
  47. Schalm, O.W., Jain, N.C. and Carrol, E.J., 1975. Veterinary haematology 3rd Ed. Lea and Fabinger,Philadelphia, USA.Google Scholar
  48. Sharma, V., Thakur, M., Chauhan, N.S. and Dix, V.K., 2009. Evaluation of the Anabolic, Aphrodisiac and Reproductive Activity of Anacyclus Pyrethrum DC in Male Rats. Scientia Pharmaceutica, 77, 97–110.Google Scholar
  49. Suresh, P.K., Subramoniam, A. and Pushpangadan, P., 2000. Aphrodisiac activity of Vanda tessellata (Roxb.) Hook.Ex Don extract in male mice. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 32, 300–304.Google Scholar
  50. Suresh, S., Prithiviraj, E. and Prakash, S., 2009. Effect of Mucuna pruriens on oxidative stress mediated damage in aged rat sperm. International Journal of Andrology, 33, 22–32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental StudiesUniversité Evangélique en Afrique (UEA)BukavuDemocratic Republic of the Congo
  2. 2.International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)BukavuDemocratic Republic of the Congo
  3. 3.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)BukavuDemocratic Republic of the Congo
  4. 4.Bio-Medical LaboratoryUniversité Evangélique en Afrique (UEA)BukavuDemocratic Republic of the Congo
  5. 5.International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)BujumburaBurundi
  6. 6.Department of Veterinary Anatomy and PhysiologyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations