1Professor of Histology and Embryology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak, Iran
2Masters of Developmental Cell Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak, Iran
Background & Aims: Sodium arsenite, an environmental pollutant, produces free radicals with harmful effects on the reproductive system. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of curcumin, as a strong antioxidant, on the testis tissue and spermatogenic cell population in mice treated with sodium arsenite. Methods: In this experimental study, Adult male NMRI mice were randomly divided into the 5 groups (n=6): control, sodium arsenite (5mg/kg/day), curcumin (15mg/kg/day), sodium arsenite+curcumin and DMSO as vehicle. After 5 weeks of treatment (through intraperitoneal ingection), animals right testis were removed, fixed, sectioned, stained (using heiden hain azan method) and stereologically studied. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Tuckey's test and the means were considered significantly different at p<0.05. Result: A significant decrease in the mean volume (P<0.05) and diameter (P<0.001) of seminiferous tubules, height of the germinal epithelium (P<0.01), thickness of the basement membrane (P<0.001) and the number of spermatocytes and spermatids (p<0.001) and a significant increase in the mean volume of the interstitial tissue was observed in the sodium arsenite group compared to the control ones (p<0.05). The above parameters were significantly compensated to the control level in the sodium arsenite+curcumin group. Conclusions: Curcumin can compensate the harmful effects of sodium arsenite on the testicular tissue and spermatogenic cell populations in adult mice. Therefor, it is suggested as a supplement in the case of arsenite intoxication.