The effect of silver nanoparticles on the reproductive system of adult male rats: A morphological, histological and DNA integrity study.

Research paper by Nasibeh N Fathi, Seyed Mohammad SM Hoseinipanah, Zohreh Z Alizadeh, Mohammad Javad MJ Assari, Abbas A Moghimbeigi, Motahare M Mortazavi, Morteza Haji MH Hosseini, Maryam M Bahmanzadeh

Indexed on: 02 Sep '18Published on: 02 Sep '18Published in: Advances in clinical and experimental medicine : official organ Wroclaw Medical University


Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are more often used in various products, and consequently the potential deleterious effects associated with exposure to them are of concern. Several lines of evidence have demonstrated that the toxicity of AgNPs affects different organs and leads to some side effects, including weight loss, inflammation and cell death. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different concentrations of AgNPs on sperm parameters and testicular histology. In the present study, 28 male adult Wistar rats were categorized into a control group and 3 experimental groups (AgNP-1, AgNP-2 and AgNP-3), intraperitoneally (i.p.) receiving 30, 125 and 300 mg/kg of AgNPs, respectively. Twenty-eight days after injection the epididymes and the testes of each rat were dissected in order to evaluate sperm parameters, sperm chromatin integrity and histomorphometric changes in the testicular tissue. The results showed a significant decrease in sperm count (p < 0.0001), vitality (p < 0.05) and morphology changes (p < 0.001) in the group receiving 300 mg/kg of AgNPs compared to the control group. A significant decrease was also observed in the number of spermatogonia, Sertoli and Leydig cells in the AgNP-2 and AgNP-3 groups (p < 0.05). The evaluation of sperm chromatin did not show any significant differences among the experimental groups (p > 0.05). The data showed some dose-dependent adverse effects of AgNPs on sperm and seminiferous tubules. More experimental investigations are necessary to draw better conclusions regarding the safety of nanoparticles (NPs) on the male reproduction system.