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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9057959, 12 pages
Research Article

Morinda Officinalis Polysaccharides Stimulate Hypothalamic GnRH Secretion in Varicocele Progression

1Department of Human Anatomy and Histoembryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350122, China
2Key Laboratory of Brain Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases of Fujian Provincial Universities and Colleges, Fuzhou 350122, China
3School of Pharmacy, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350122, China
4Research Center for Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350122, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaozhen Zhao and Wei Wang

Received 27 April 2017; Accepted 2 August 2017; Published 20 September 2017

Academic Editor: Chang G. Son

Copyright © 2017 Zhu Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Varicoceles (VCs) are the predominant cause of male infertility and are a risk factor for chronic venous disease. Morinda officinalis (M. officinalis) is a traditional Chinese medicine used to tonify the kidney and strengthen yang. In this study, we evaluated the effects of water-soluble polysaccharides extracted from M. officinalis (MOPs) on gonadotropin-release hormone (GnRH) secretion in a classic experimental left VC (ELV) rat model. Intragastric administration of MOPs at a dose ranging from 50 mg kg−1 to 100 mg kg−1 facilitated improvements in sperm parameters and seminiferous epithelial structures, modulated serum hormone profiles, and stimulated GnRH synthesis and release in the hypothalamus. MOPs also promoted spinogenesis and functional spine maturation in the arcuate nuclei (Arc), wherein they acted mainly on Kiss1 and GnRH neurons. Moreover, MOP-mediated Kisspeptin-GPR54 pathway upregulation and MAPK phosphorylation activation may have been responsible for increases in GnRH synthesis and release. Collectively, the findings of this study indicate that MOPs were effective in stimulating GnRH secretion, possibly by upregulating the Kiss1/GPR54 pathway and enhancing synaptic plasticity, and that MOPs can serve as a therapy for early VCs.