Severe deterioration in sperm parameters and testes of rats administered naproxen and diclofenac at pre-puberty: An experimental study


Background: Although naproxen and diclofenac are the most commonly used nonsteroidal drugs, their toxicity affecting male reproductivity has not been sufficiently studied, particularly when used in pre-puberty.

Objective: This study aims to investigate the toxic effects of naproxen and diclofenac on sperm parameters and testes in pre-pubertal rats.

Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 15 pre-pubertal male albino rats (aged 5 wk, weighted 70-80 gr) were used. The animals were divided in to 3 groups (n = 5/each) of control (0.1 ml dimethyl sulfoxide), naproxen (50 mg/kg), and diclofenac sodium (5 mg/kg), and were orally administered with these drugs every day for 3 wk. Epididymal spermatozoa were taken to assess sperm count, viability, and morphology. After preparing tissue sections, testicular histopathological and histomorphometric analyses were performed.

Results: The body weights of rats in both naproxen and diclofenac groups significantly decreased (p < 0.001 and p = 0.03, respectively) in comparison to the control group. Remarkably, the testis weight and total sperm number significantly decreased (p = 0.002, and p = 0.004 respectively) in the naproxen-administered rats only. The sperm viability percentage decreased significantly in both diclofenac and naproxenadministered groups (p ≤ 0.001 and p = 0.03 respectively). Moreover, there was a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the percentage of sperm morphological anomalies in both drug-administered groups. Also, the histological and morphometric findings exhibited severe histopathological appearances in the testes and seminiferous tubules parameters in both drug-administered groups.

Conclusion: Naproxen and diclofenac administrations of rats before their puberty induce considerable harm to sperm parameters and testicular histology and morphometry. These severe toxic effects can lead to potential infertility.

Key words: Male infertility, Nonsteroidal drugs, Pathology, Spermatozoa, Testis.

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