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Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate the Protective role of Lycopene on hormonal profile and posttesticular functions of male rats exposed to sublethal doses of Cypermethrin.
Study Design: The study was a completely randomized design employing relevant statistical tools for analysis and interpretation.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in the Reproductive Physiology and Genetics Research Laboratory of the Department of Applied and Environmental Biology, Rivers State University, Rivers State. The experiment lasted for 35 days.
Methodology: For the sperm morphology assay, sperm reserves and hormonal profiling, semen samples were drawn from the caudal epididymis with a syringe and placed on a clean glass slide. A drop of freshly prepared eosin-Y was added to make a thin smear and examined under the microscope for morphological abnormalities. A portion of the testis and epididymidis was homogenized separately with sharp pointed scissors in normal (physiological) saline. The suspension was mixed and strained through a double layer of sterile cheese cloth into graduated test tubes. All the samples were covered and stored for 24 hours at 40C. A dilution was made for counting in Neubauer haemocytometer. The hormonal concentration was determined using the Randox Monza Laboratories assay kit from Co-Atrim, United Kingdom.
Results: Results of oral administration of Cypermethrin and co-administration of lycopene in rats showed Group G co-administered pure Lycopene had the lowest sperm head abnormalities of 3.5%, group B administered Cypermethrin only had the highest head abnormalities of 44.7%. Similarly, Group G, co-administered pure Lycopene had the lowest percentage of tail abnormalities of 10.1% while Group B had the highest percentage of sperm tail abnormalities of 32.4%. There was a was significant (p<0.001) decrease in concentration of all androgens considered in group B administered Cypermethrin only.
Conclusion: Exposure to Cypermethrin only as in group B disrupted the production of all androgens considered, increased the percentage of abnormal spermatozoa, reduced sperm motility, viability and sperm reserves. However, results recorded from the co-administration of Solanum lycopersicum and pure lycopene, in groups C-G indicate the protective role of this potent antioxidant on spermatogenesis and hormonal profile.
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