Back ground: With a view to explore the possibilities of finding new molecules with proven therapeutic efficacy for human use with potent sperm attenuating activity and lower side effect profile than nonoxynol- 9 (N-9). the present study was designed to investigate spermicidal activity in Xestospongia officinalis.
Material and Methods: The extract, fractions followed by isolation and characterization of bioactive molecules were done from freshly collected animals. Results:The methanol extract of the Xestospongia officinalis caused 100% mortality of human sperms at 0.01% concentration in vitro while N-9 (reference control) exhibited an equivalent activity at 0.05%. On further fractionation, the activity was localized in n-butanol soluble fraction from which the major compounds purified was mixture of alkaloids which was found to be equipotent to N-9 and killed 100% human sperm at the concentration of 0.05% in ~20 s, in vitro.
Conclusions:The mixture of alkaloids were much safer than N-9 towards normal vaginal flora (Lactobacillus) in vitro though it affected the viability of HeLa cells like other surfactants. Thus alkaloids from Xestospongia officinalis can suitably replace N-9 in vaginal contraceptives to make them more vaginal eco-friendly.