The prophylactic effect of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit extract on testicular toxicity induced by formaldehyde: An experimental study


Background: Formaldehyde (FA) is one of the most widely used materials in industries and in sciences. Prolonged contact with FA might have harmful effects on fertility due to the increase in the reactive oxygen species level. On the other hand, date palm (Phoenix Dactilifera L.) fruit extract (DPFE) contains a high concentration of natural antioxidants that could scavenge free radicals.

Objective: The aim was to investigate the prophylactic effects of DPFE, with strong antioxidant properties, on FA-induced testicular toxicity in male mice.

Materials and Methods: Thirty-two adult NMRI male mice with a weight range of 25- 35 gr (9-10 wk old) were randomly divided into four groups: control group (distilled water, orally for 35 days), FA group (FA; 0.25 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 20 days), treatment group (Date (DT) + FA; DPFE, 4 mg/kg for 35 days followed by FA administration, 0.25 mg/kg, i.p., for 20 days), date fruit extract group (DT; DPFE, 4 mg/kg, orally for 35 days). After this, blood was collected and left epididymis and testis tissues were isolated to evaluate the sperm parameters and histological examination, respectively.

Results: The FA administration increased the sperm morphological anomalies and reduced the sperm count, viability and motility, and also testosterone compared to the control group (p ≤ 0.001). In addition, histological studies of the testes showed that FA causes changes in the testis seminiferous tubules such as destruction of germinal epithelium and vacuolization of the tubules. The DPFE consumption before FA administration could partially ameliorate the reduced testosterone, sperm, and testicular parameters due to FA.

Conclusion: The DPFE use might have discount effects on FA-induced testicular toxicity.

Key words: Formaldehyde, Date fruit, Testis, Toxicity, Sperm, Testosterone.

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