Disturbances in Calcium and Zinc Homeostasis During Testicular Damage Induced by Citrus aurantifolia Juice in Wistar Rats

B M Idris, A AU Dikko, I U Yarube, M A Salim, M IA Saleh, A W Alhassan


Infertility rate is high globally and in Nigeria. The reported spermicidal activity of Citrus aurantifolia juice (CAJ)
and its popular consumption may be a contributing factor to the rise in male infertility. This study examined the effects of
CAJ on testis and evaluated the role of calcium and zinc in these effects. Twenty-eight male rats (200-220g) were grouped
into four (n=7). Group I (control) received 0.5ml normal saline, while groups II, III and IV received 600mg/kg, 900mg/kg
and 1200mg/kg of CAJ, respectively, orally for 35 days. Sperm analysis, testicular histology, testicular zinc and calcium
concentrations were evaluated. The results showed a significant decrease (P < 0.001) in body weight and gonad-somatic
index (GSI) of the rats in group IV. No sperm cells were found in the sperm samples of all the treatment groups in contrast
to control. There was a significant decrease (P < 0.001) in zinc concentration of group III and IV animals and a significant
increase (P < 0.001) in testicular calcium content of group III and IV animals. Derangement of testicular cyto-architecture,
shrinkage or complete destruction of seminiferous tubules as well as absence of spermatogenic cells were observed in the
treatment groups. It was concluded that CAJ induced a destructive effect on testes of rats as evidenced by damaged testicular
tissue, reduced gonado-somatic index, azospermia and disruption in testicular electrolyte homeostasis. It was concluded that
CAJ caused hypercalcaemia and hypozincaemia in the testicular tissue of the treated rats. Concurrently, CAJ also caused
damage to testicular histology, azospermia and decreased GSI. Citrus aurantifolia juice should be consumed with caution
due to its potential to cause infertility in males.

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