Introduction: Lead is one of the environmental pollutants and it is among the most important causes of oxidative stress in biological tissues. In this study, the effects of lead acetate on testicular tissue destruction were investigated. Ferulic acid (FA), which is an antioxidant and reduces free radicals, is expected to be effective in improving testicular function in lead-infected rats.
Materials and methods: For this study, 24 white male Wistar rats, categorized in four groups: control, lead acetate toxicity, FA control, and lead-Ferulic Acetate, were treated in the laboratory for 56 days. At the end of the treatment period, the rats were anesthetized and after blood sampling, they were analysed. Then, histological analysis was performed after testicular resection. To evaluate sperm characteristics, the distal part of the testicular epididymis was finally cut and fragmented.
Research Findings: In examination of testicular tissue sections in the samples, it was observed that the mean diameter of seminiferous tubules in samples with lead acetate poisoning was decreased more than the control, whereas in the group with FA treatment, the diameter was increased. Increased bleeding in the space between seminiferous tubules and tissue vacuolation were also recorded in the lead acetate group, but it was improved in the treatment group. The number, motility, percentage of normal sperm, and survival percentage of sperm which had a significant decrease in the lead acetate group, and were increased in the FA-treated group. Likewise, testosterone levels, which had a significant drop in the lead acetate poisoning group, were increased in FA-treated group.
Discussion: The result showed that lead acetate, with its destructive effects on testicular tissue, reduces the number of healthy and mature sperms, and ultimately leads to mice fertility of these mice, but ferulic acid which acts as an antioxidant has recovery effects against lead acetate.