Considering dopamine-enhancing effect of (+)-catechin, the present study was designed to evaluate dopamine-2 (D2) receptor agonistic and phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) enzyme inhibitory effects in in silico and effect on male sexual function of Sprague Dawley rats in vivo. (+)-Catechin and standard (sildenafil and bromocriptine) were docked using Autodock Vina 1.1.2 and visualised by UCSF Chimera 1.14. Significant interactions in terms of binding energies were observed for catechin with both proteins. In in vivo study, the rats were dosed orally for 54 days with (+)-catechin hydrate (50 mg/kg), sildenafil citrate (standard, 4 mg/kg) and carboxymethylcellulose (vehicle, 0.25% w/v). The aphrodisiac effects were evaluated on the day 14, 28, 42 and 54 using the behavioural parameters of mounting and intromission. After the study, animals were sacrificed and testes and spermatozoa were assessed for safety profile. Results showed a significant increase in mount and intromission frequencies and a significant reduction in mount and intromission latencies in the catechin group on all tested days when compared to vehicle control. (+)-Catechin was found to be safe on histology of testes, sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology parameters. In conclusion, catechin demonstrated an enhancement in sexual behaviour without eliciting toxicity on the male reproductive system in rats.
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