Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences

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Effects of short-term administration of quinine on the seminiferous tubules of Sprague-Dawley Rats

AA Osinubi, JT Akinlua, MA Agbaje, CC Noronha, AO Okanlawon


Quinine (QU) is the principal alkaloid derived from the bark of the Cinchona tree and has been used worldwide in the suppression and treatment of malaria for more than 350 years. Though other anti-malaria drugs have superseded QU, however, as a result of the development of resistance to chloroquine and other drugs, QU has again become an important anti-malaria agent. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of short term administration of QU on the seminiferous tubules of rats. Thirty six adult (6-8 weeks old) male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 160 and 180g (at the beginning of the study) were used for the experiments. The animals were randomly divided into 3 groups of 12 rats each. Groups 1 and 2 animals had QU, 30 mg/kg body weight (kbw) daily for 7 days. While those in group 1 were sacrificed on the 7th day those in group 2 were sacrificed on the 56th day. The group 3 animals constituted the controls. They had equal volume of physiologic saline for 7 days and half of them were sacrificed on the 7th day while the other half were sacrificed on the 56th day. The testes were carefully dissected out, their volumes measured, weighed and histological sections prepared. Morphometry was carried out by assessing the diameter, cross-sectional area, number of profiles per unit area, numerical density and volume density of the seminiferous tubules, and the relative and absolute volume of the seminiferous epithelium, stroma and lumen of the tubules. The results showed that there was a general destruction coupled with degeneration of cells of the seminiferous epithelium secondary to short term administration of QU. We concluded that QU has a deleterious effect on the testis and may possibly disrupt spermatogenesis.

KEYWORDS: Quinine, testis, seminiferous tubules

Nig. Jnl Health & Biomed. Sciences Vol.3(1) 2004: 1-7
AJOL African Journals Online