Histomorphometric and Hormonal Studies on the Protective Role of Testosterone in Nicotine-Induced Testicular Toxicity
The consumption of nicotine through smoking is a serious public health issue. Nicotine is associated with infertility and the alteration of spermatogenesis and metabolism of male reproductive hormones. Testosterone propionate is a testosterone ester with great potency relative to testosterone. This study was initiated to investigate the protective role of testosterone in nicotine-induced testicular toxicity. Eighteen (18) adult Wistar were randomly divided into three (3) groups as follows: Group A: Nicotine only (N); Group B: Nicotine + Testosterone (NT); and Group C: Normal Control (NC). 0.8 mg/kg body weight of nicotine and 2.5 mg/kg of testosterone were administered respectively for a period of 30 days after which the rats were sacrificed and the testes fixed for histological and histomorphometrical analysis. The reproductive hormones, FSH, LH and testosterone were also assayed. Histological sections of the testes of N rats revealed desquamated cells, atrophic germinal epithelium, thickened basement membrane, congested blood vessels, depleted lumina and reduced tubular diameter as well as increased luminal diameter compared to the normal control. The reproductive hormones were also significantly reduced compared to the NT and control groups. These deleterious effects were however mitigated in the treated rats. These findings indicate that testosterone ameliorates the severity of toxicity induced by nicotine in rat testes.
Key Words: Nicotine, Testosterone, Histomorphometry, Germinal epithelium, Infertility