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Chin Med J (Engl). 2017 December 20; 130(24): 3015–3016.
PMCID: PMC5742937

Side Effects of Pyrethroid and Supporting Role of Onion in the Male Rat's Spermatogenesis

To the Editor: Permethrin is a great handmade of chemical agents, pyrethroid Type I, which exists in two main isomers, Cis and Trans.[1] Its application in farming and building is due to well availability and repelling of pests. It may be easy absorbed from the gastrointestinal and skin tract and by inhalation of dust.[2,3] They are great chemicals with high producing of reactive oxygen species and inducer of necrosis pathway. Inadequate information of using permethrin resulted in many side effects on biological systems. Spermatogenesis is one of the main vital systems susceptible to reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress.[4] Since spermatogenesis takes place in the testis, any chemical agent like permethrin could be destroyed cellular structure and function and leads to infertility.[5] On the other hand, done studies for confronting these effects were mostly focused on reducing infertility rate and proposing the best way to treatment. Most studies represent a varied range of antioxidants to solving male infertility. Allium cepa (onion), a natural antioxidant, was used in traditional medicine. It protects DNA and other important molecules from oxidative stress and improves sperm parameters, so leads to increase fertility rate.[6]

The thirty male rats, weighing 250 ± 10 g, were randomly divided into three groups. Group 1 (control) was only under normal conditions of food and water. Group 2 received permethrin (35 mg·kg−1·d−1) orally, dissolved in 0.5 ml/kg DMSO. 1/100 of the LD50 value of permethrin was chosen based on the “no observed adverse effect level” for permethrin.[7] At the same dose of permethrin, Group 3 was also treated with onion juice (3 ml/d).

The electron-graph of images of control group showed that Sertoli cells rested on a thin regular basement membrane, and having clear border, euchromatic nuclei and normal cytoplasmic organelles (secretary granules and mitochondria). The Sertoli cell nuclei of permethrin group exhibited heterochromatin and irregular shape, great vacuoles spaces in the cytoplasm. There were spaces between the basement membrane and Sertoli cells. These cells in the permethrin-onion group represented a typical triangular and euchromatic nucleus adjacent to a regular-thin basement membrane [Figure 1].

Figure 1
Transmission electron micrograph images of Sertoli cells. (a) Control group. Sertoli cell (S) with regular euchromatic nuclei resting on a regular BM. Also LD, lysosomes (l) can be seen (original magnification ×6000). (b) Permethrin group. Sertoli ...

Environmental toxicants induced cellular and hormonal damages by variety pathways. Many studies have been carried out concerning the effects of pesticides compounds on male infertility. Previously, it has been reported that oxidative stress is a cause of permethrin exposure.[8,9,10] The electron microscope examination revealed that permethrin exposure caused to prominent histomorphometric alterations including vacuolization of Sertoli, and disorganization of the basement membrane. Nowadays, natural antioxidants are used worldwide to decrease harmful effects of environmental pollutants. The results indicated an overall improvement of permethrin-induced alterations on coadministration of onion juice.

Exposure to insecticides (permethrin) induced testicular damages, which exhibits with histological alterations in adult male testes. Furthermore, administration of onion juice is associated with decreasing the toxic effects of permethrin. Thus, onion juice could maintain reproductive ability and improves sexual activities. However, the effective strategy to men infertility is avoiding using of insecticides.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Footnotes

Edited by: Yi Cui

REFERENCES

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Articles from Chinese Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications