Objective: To determine the effects of lead and zinc administration on the quality of semen of albino rats.
Study design: Experimental study.
Place and duration of study: Basic Medical Sciences Institute, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, from August 2003 to December 2005.
Methodology: Sixty adult albino rats selected for the study were divided into three groups, group A received injection normal saline 1 ml intraperitoneally daily for 8 weeks. Group B received lead chloride in a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight intraperitoneally daily. Group C received lead chloride in a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight and zinc chloride in a dose of 1 mg/kg body weight intraperitoneally daily. On the day of completion of treatment, the animals were sacrificed; epididymis was used for semen analysis. Student's t-test was used to determinate significance; the p-value < 0.05 was taken as significant.
Results: The number of sperms was 7.3, 1.7 and 6.6 million cells/ml in groups A, B and C respectively. Sperm's count decreased by 87% in group B (p < 0.001, CI 4117082.4 - 6965747.6) as compared to group A. Compared with group C, the sperm's count was decreased to 75% (p < 0.001, CI -5417413 to -4416987). The immotility of sperms was 27%, 57% and 26% in groups A, B and C respectively. There was 30% decreased motility of sperm in group B (p < 0.001, CI -30.19425 to -19.80575) as compared to group A. Compared with group C, the immotile sperm were increased to 31% (p < 0.001, CI 19.87494 - 30.92506).
Conclusion: Lead produced toxic effects on germinal epithelium and altered the quality of semen which was improved by zinc.