Protective Effects of Aqueous Extract of Ocimum gratissimum on Prostate Functions in Hormonal Induced Enlarged Prostate in Adult Rats

by Ugwu Melvin Nnaemeka(1), Ogueche, Peter Nnamdi(2), Eteng, Mbeh Ubana(3) and Eno, Margaret Akpan(3)


Background: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a histological disease characterised by an
increased number of epithelial cells and stromal cells within the prostate gland. We investigated the
effect of aqueous leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum on BPH induced animal model. Methods: BPH was induced in male rats weighing 250-350 g through exogenous administration of testosterone and estradiol. A total of 30 rats were divided into five groups. One group was used as a control, and the other groups received subcutaneous injections of the two hormones. Groups 1 to 2 were treated orally with different doses of extract and group 3 received finasteride, group 4 was left untreated, and group 5 served as normal control. After forty-five days of treatment with the extract, the animals were sacrificed blood collected through cardiac puncture for biochemical analysis. The prostate glands were harvested and processed for paraffin embedding and stained with H and E.
Results: Treatment with the extract and finasteride resulted in significant (P < 0.05) decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), estradiol and prolactin and testosterone when compared to BPH control. Also, there was a significant increase in the protein content of the prostate gland when compared to BPH control. Prostate weight was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in treated groups compared to BPH control. This was supported by the histological examination of the prostate gland. Conclusion: Therefore, Ocimum gratissimum was effective in reducing PSA, prolactin,
testosterone, estradiol and prostate weight induced BPH in a rat model, and may be useful for the clinical treatment of patients with BPH.
Keywords: Estradiol, Ocimum gratissimum, prostate gland, PSA, testosterone.


1 – Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria.
2 – Department of Human Biochemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State Nigeria.
3 – Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. Author UMN designed the study,
performed the statistical analysis, wrote the protocol, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript.
Authors OPN and EMU managed the analyses of the study. Author EMA managed the literature
searches. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/AJRB/2018/42507

Prof Mbeh Eteng

Mbeh Eteng is a Professor of Biochemistry in the Faculty of University of Calabar. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Calabar (2000). He was Dean of Faculty of Basic Medical Science (2012-2016) and Chairman Committee of Deans (2014-2015). Member Governing Board UCTH, Calabar (2018 -till date). Fellow, Institute of Co-operate Administration. His current area of research is on malaria/prostrate hyperplaxia and medicinal plants research and use in management. He has successfully supervised 25 Ph.Ds.
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