Curcumin Protects Mice Testicular Tissue against the Adverse Effects of Sodium Arsenite: A Stereological Study

Document Type: Original Article


1 Professor of Histology and Embryology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Arak University, Arak, Iran

2 Masters 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.


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