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      Adverse Effects of Formaldehyde Vapor on Mouse Sperm Parameters and Testicular Tissue

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          Formaldehyde (FA), one of the simplest organic molecules, is a flammable, pungent, irritating and colorless gas. This study aimed to investigate the effects of various concentrations of FA vapor on sperm parameters and testicular tissue.

          Materials and Methods:

          In this experimental study, we randomly assigned 36 adult male mice to one control and two experimental groups (n=12 for each group). The control group (C) did not receive FA. Group F1 (low concentration) was exposed to 10 ppm FA vapor and the F2 (high concentration) group was exposed to 20 ppm FA vapor. FA was administered for ten days, eight hours per day for both groups. At the end of the exposure period, half of the animals in each group were sacrificed 24 hours after exposure to detect any short-term effects; the rest of the mice were sacrificed 35 days later to assess for long-term effects. Sperm parameters were analyzed by Computer-assisted Sperm Analyzer (CASA) and histological changes determined. In addition, we studied changes in testosterone hormone. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA followed by the Scheffe test using SPSS software.


          Long-term effects of FA in the experimental groups included significant reductions in sperm cell numbers and sperm viability. A drastic reduction in progressive motility and increased abnormal sperm percentage (p<0.001) compared with the control group was also noted. Histological study of testes specimens in the experimental group revealed displacement of germinal cells, along with degeneration of Leydig cells and seminiferous tubules.


          Exposure to FA vapor can destroy testicular structure and decrease percentages of concentration, viability, normal morphology, and progressive motility, in addition to increasing the percentage of immotile sperm.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Oxidative stress occurs when the production of potentially destructive reactive oxygen species (ROS) exceeds the bodies own natural antioxidant defenses, resulting in cellular damage. Oxidative stress is a common pathology seen in approximately half of all infertile men. ROS, defined as including oxygen ions, free radicals and peroxides are generated by sperm and seminal leukocytes within semen and produce infertility by two key mechanisms. First, they damage the sperm membrane, decreasing sperm motility and its ability to fuse with the oocyte. Second, ROS can alter the sperm DNA, resulting in the passage of defective paternal DNA on to the conceptus. This review will provide an overview of oxidative biochemistry related to sperm health and will identify which men are most at risk of oxidative infertility. Finally, the review will outline methods available for diagnosing oxidative stress and the various treatments available.
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              How strong is the evidence of a link between environmental chemicals and adverse effects on human reproductive health?


                Author and article information

                Int J Fertil Steril
                Int J Fertil Steril
                Royan Institute
                International Journal of Fertility & Sterility
                Royan Institute
                Jan-Mar 2013
                3 March 2013
                : 6
                : 4
                : 250-267
                [1 ]Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
                [3 ]Department of Embryology at Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
                Author notes
                * Corresponding Address: P.O.Box: 14115175Department of Occupational and Environmental HealthSchool of Medical SciencesTarbiat Modares University TehranIran Email: khavanin@
                Any use, distribution, reproduction or abstract of this publication in any medium, with the exception of commercial purposes, is permitted provided the original work is properly cited

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                Vosoughi Sh, Khavanin A, Salehnia M, Asilian Mahabadi H, Shahverdi A, Esmaeili V. Adverse effects of formaldehyde vapor on mouse sperm parameters and testicular tissue. Int J Fertil Steril. 2013; 6(4): 250-257.

                testis, formaldehyde, mouse, sperm, testosterone


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