Comparative Effects of Ripe and Unripe Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) on Spermatozoa and Gonadosomatic Index in Matured Male Wistar Rats

Obioma Ogbonnaya, Azubuike Nwankwo, Daniel Chidi Ifenkwe, Chikera Samuel Ibe, Ekele Ikpegbu, Osah Martins Onwuka


To ascertain the comparative effects of ripe and unripe Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) on spermatozoa and gonadosomatic index evaluation in matured male Wistar rats; exploring the idea that both ripe and unripe Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) might or might not positively affect semen quality, crucial for male fertility. Twenty-eight (28) sexually mature male Wister rats, aged 9–10 weeks and weighing between 211.50g and 217.00g, were divided equally into seven groups (1 to 7); with Group 1 serving as the control and Groups 2 to 7 receiving 25%, 50%, and 75% concentrations of ripe lime juice (RLJ) and unripe lime juice (ULJ) respectively. The findings indicated that ULJ had a higher concentration (0.1mg/ml) compared to ripe lime RLJ at 0.08mg/ml, although both had approximately the same LD50 value of 1581.138mg/kg. RLJ, at different concentrations, adversely impacted the reproductive performance of rats, leading to decreased progressive motility, livability, sperm count, testicular size, and sexual drive. However, ULJ did not exhibit these effects. A 75% concentration of RLJ showed anti-prostatic activity, causing a reduction in prostate size, which was more pronounced than that of the same ULJ concentration. Importantly, both RLJ and ULJ did not have a significant impact on the sizes of the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys, and lungs, with these visceral organs maintaining normal sizes comparable to the control group (statistically, p>0.05).The findings suggest that RLJ or ULJ consumption, particularly at the highest concentration, may lead to alterations in reproductive performance, hence such consumption should be discouraged.


Citrus aurantifolia; Lime, Fertility; Male reproduction; spermatozoa; Testis

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Biology, Medicine, & Natural Product Chemistry
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