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Histopathological and Flow Cytometry of Nitrate-Induced Testicular Toxicity in Adult Mice and the Protective Effects of Garlic Oil

Author(s): Attalla F El-kott and Amira O Abd-El-Azim

Nitrate is a common contaminant in groundwater aquifers. Current study aimed at evaluating the potential testicular toxicity of sodium nitrate in adult mice and treated with garlic oil. Sodium nitrate was given orally to mice at doses of 900 mg/kg/day for 35 consecutive days. Sperm count and motility, viability and testis weight were significantly decreased. Testicular activities of hormones (Testosterone, LH and FSH) were significantly inhibited in NaNO3 treated group. The proportions of diploid and tetraploid cells decreased in NaNO3 treatment, but showed an increase after treatment with garlic oil. The decrease in sperm count and motility and other parameters were confirmed by histopathological studies which indicated congested dilated interstitial blood vessels, degenerations in the seminiferous tubules and inter cellular dissociations of germ cells, and necrosis in spermatocytes. In conclusion, exposure of mice to sodium nitrate results in testicular toxicity as evidenced by decreased sperm count and motility, and testis weight, inhibited activity of enzyme markers of spermatogenesis and induction of histopathological changes. These effects are attributed, at least partly, to testicular oxidative stress. Also, garlic treatments appear able to cure the sodium nitrate-induced testicular toxicity. The protective effects should be associated with its antioxidative activities.

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