Rosmarinic acid (RA) is a polyphenol derived from many common herbal plants of the Lamiaceae group: Rosemary, sage, Spanish sage, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, the mint group, lavender, perilla and lemon balm. It is currently being studied for its effects on Alzheimer's disease and some other diseases. Rosmarinic acid in its natural state as part of a herb has been used to strengthen the memory and to improve mood by dispersing melancholy. Male Wistar rats (n = 40) were allocated to four groups, a control group (n = 10) and three treatment groups (n = 30). The first treatment group received rosmarinic acid (5 mg/kg body weight), the second extract group received rosmarinic acid (5 mg/kg body weight) and electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure at 50 Hz for 40 consecutive days, whilst the forth group received only EMF exposure for 40 consecutive days. Animals were maintained under standard conditions. At the conclusion of the test period, rat testes tissues were removed from all group members and animals were maintained under standard conditions. Tissue preparation was performed and analyzed for apoptosis. There was a significant increase in apoptosis in EMF group and significant increase in testosterone serum level in RA group when compared with other groups (P < 0.05). EMF has negative effect on testis histology in rats. However, these side effects are less seen in the EMF group that received RA. Therefore, it is recommended that usage of rosmarinic acid in modern country has fewer industrial side effects on male fertility.
Key words: Apoptosis, electromagnetic field (EMF), male fertility, rosmarinic acid, testis.
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