Ipomoea brasiliana poisoning on buck reproduction

ABSTRACT: Swainsonine-containing plants comprise a group of important poisonous plants in Brazil. This research aimed to characterize both the behavioral changes related to reproduction and appearance of lesions in the reproductive system of bucks poisoned by Ipomoea brasiliana. I. brasiliana plants were collected and administered at a dose of 4g/kg (800µg swainsonine/kg) to two groups of bucks for 45 days. Goats from Group I were euthanized on the 46th day of the experiment, and goats from Group II were euthanized on the 120th day. Group III was composed of goats that did not receive I. brasiliana and were euthanized on the 120th day of the experiment. Reproductive behavioral changes were observed starting on day 20 and were characterized by an absence of courtship behavior, and Flehmen reflex, decrease or loss of libido and inability to perform mating. After 120 days, Group II goats showed no regression of the changes in their reproductive behavior or improvement of their seminal parameters. The main defects observed in the sperm of goats that consumed I. brasiliana were cytoplasmatic droplets, bent tails and detached tails. The main histopathological findings were reported in tests, with cytoplasmic vacuolization of germline and Sertoli cells, generalized impairment of spermatogonia maturation with exfoliation of degenerative cells, cell fragments, rare abnormal spermatocytes in the seminiferous lumen and disappearance of Leydig cells. Results of this study confirmed the hypothesis that I. brasiliana causes testicular degeneration in male goats.