ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-8

Harmful effects of ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol on male reproductive organs of rats chronically exposed to sodium nitrate


1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Isyaku U. Yarube
P. O. Box 492, Kano
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.132567

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Background: Humans and animals are exposed to sodium nitrate through the air, food and drinking water. Because nitrates induce oxidative stress, the effects of antioxidant vitamins ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol on oxidative damage induced by sodium nitrate on reproductive organs of male Wistar rats were studied. Methodology: Five rats each in four groups were treated for 60 days. They received distilled water (Group I), 3 mg/100 g body weight NaNO 3 (Group II), 3 mg/100 g body weight NaNO 3 + 50 mg/100 g body weight ascorbic acid (Group III) and 3 mg/100 g body weight NaNO 3 + 30 mg/100 g body weight α-tocopherol (Group IV). Live weights of the animals were obtained at the beginning of the experiment and every 2 weeks subsequently. At the end of the study, the left testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle of each rat was carefully removed and weighed. These organs were also examined for histopathological lesions. Results: Testis:body weight ratio and seminal vesicle:body weight ratio of Group II animals were less than (P < 0.05) those of the control. Epididymis:body weight and seminal vesicle:body weight ratios of Group III animals were significantly lower than those of Group II. Testis:body weight ratio of Group IV animals was significantly less than that of Group II. There was testicular degeneration with absence of spermatids and spermatogenic cells in the semeniferous tubules and absence of epididymal sperm reserve in Group IV animals. Conclusions: The results indicate that intake of ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol may enhance oxidative damage in the testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle during chronic sodium nitrate exposure.


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