Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Reproductive Functions of Male Wistar Rats Exposed to Nicotine
Nicotine is a pharmacologically active and addictive alkaloid component of the cigarette smoke, and its effects on male reproductive system and fertility are well documented. Influence of ascorbic acid on reproductive functions of male wistar rats exposed to nicotine was examined in this study. Thirty-two adult male rats of 180 ± 15 g weight were used and grouped into control, nicotine, ascorbic and nicotine with ascorbic acid. The drugs were orally administered for thirty-five days. Plasma levels of FSH, LH and testosterone were significantly reduced in nicotine exposed rats when compared with the control (p<0.05), both FSH and LH plasma levels were significantly increased in rats exposed to ascorbic acid (p<0.05) relative to the control, while ascorbic acid also increased the level of these hormone in nicotine treated group (p<0.05). The cytoarchitecture of the seminiferous tubule shows high level of degeneration in the nicotine only treated group and this was reversed in the ascorbic acid treated group. There was a significant decreased in sperm motility, counts, percentage viability and morphology (p<0.05) in nicotine treated group relative to the control, while there was a significant improvement in these sperm parameters in co-administered ascorbic acid with nicotine when compared with the rats treated with nicotine only. In conclusion, ascorbic acid supplement may suppress nicotine toxic effects on reproductive functions in male rats.
Keywords: Nicotine, ascorbic acid, FSH, LH, Testosterone, Sperm parameters