Increased access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has made the management of drug toxicities an increasingly crucial component of HIV. This study investigated the effects of adjuvant use of coconut oil and HAART on testicular morphology and seminal parameters in Sprague- Dawley rats. Twelve adult male Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing 153~169 g were distributed into four groups (A-D) and treated as follows: A served as control (distilled water); B (HAART cocktail- Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine); C (HAART + Virgin coconut oil 10 mL/kg) and D (Virgin coconut oil 10 mL/kg). After 56 days of treatment, animals were killed and laparotomy to exercise the epididymis for seminal fluid analyses done whilst testicular tissues were processed for histomorphometric studies. Result showed a significant decline in sperm motility (P < 0.05) and count (P < 0.0001) in HAART-treated animals while there was insignificant changes in other parameters in groups C and D except count that was reduced (P < 0.0001) when compared with controls. Histomorphological studies showed HAART caused disorders in seminiferous tubular architecture with significant (P < 0.01) decline in epithelial height closely mirrored by extensive reticulin framework and positive PAS cells. Adjuvant Virgin coconut oil + HAART resulted in significant decrease in seminiferous tubular diameter (P < 0.05), but other morphometric and histological parameters were similar to control or Virgin coconut oil alone (which showed normal histoarchitecture levels). While derangements in testicular and seminal fluid parameters occurred following HAART, adjuvant treatment with Virgin coconut oil restored the distortions emanating thereof.
Keywords: Andrology; Antiretroviral therapy; Coconut oil; Histomorphology; Stains; Testis.