Effect of Zirconium oxide nanoparticle on serum level of testosterone and spermatogenesis in the rat: An experimental study


Background: Zirconium nanoparticles are used as health agents, pharmaceutical carriers, and in dental and orthopedic implants.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of Zirconium oxide nanoparticles on the process of spermatogenesis in rat.

Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 32 male Wistar rats (150-200 gr), with range of age 2.5 to 3 months were used and divided into four groups of eight per each. The control group received 0.5 ml of distilled water and the three experimental groups received 50, 200, and 400 ppm doses of Zirconium oxide nanoparticles solution over a 30-day period, respectively. At the end of the experiment, tissue sections were taken from the testis and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Serum concentration of testosterone was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: In the experimental group receiving 400 ppm Zirconium oxide nanoparticles, the number of Spermatogonia cells (p ≤ 0.01), Spermatocytes (p ≤ 0.01), Spermatids (p ≤ 0.001), and sertoli and Leydig cells (p ≤ 0.05) showed a significant decrease compared to the control group. Serum testosterone concentration did not change significantly in all experimental groups receiving Zirconium oxide nanoparticles compared to the control group. Experimental group received 400 ppm Zirconium oxide nanoparticles shrinkage of seminal tubules and reduced lumen space compared to control group.

Conclusion: Zirconium oxide nanoparticles are likely to damage the testes by increasing Reactive oxygen species production and free radicals.

Key words: Zirconium oxide, Nanoparticles, Spermatogenesis, Testosterone, Rat.

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