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Int J Fertil Steril. 2019 Apr;13(1):51-56. doi: 10.22074/ijfs.2019.5494. Epub 2019 Jan 6.

Protective Effect of N-Acetyl Cysteine on Chlorpyrifos-Induced Testicular Toxicity in Mice.

Author information

Department of Anatomical Sciences, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
Fatemeh-Zahra Infertility and Health Reproductive Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.Electronic Address:
Department of Pharmacology, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Babol University of Medical Science, Babol, lran.



Chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphate pesticide, is widely used in farms in order to preserve crops and fruits. Previous studies have shown that CPF exposure might cause chronic toxicity in male genital system. The present study investigated the protective effect of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), a potent antioxidant against testicular toxicity of CPF in male mice.

Materials and Methods:

In this experimental study, 42 adult male mice were divided into seven groups, CPF low (0.5 mg/kg.b.w) and high (5 mg/kg.b.w) doses groups, NAC group (35 mg/kg.b.w), NAC+CPF 0/5 mg/kg.b.w, NAC+CPF 5 mg/kg.b.w, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, 0.75% solution mg/kg.b.w) and control group. All treatment were done intraperitoneally. Treatment was conducted for four consecutive weeks (five days each week). However NAC was injected to NAC+CPF groups five days before initiation of the treatment procedure. One week after the last injection, mice were sacrificed using anesthetic gas to evaluate alterations in testicular histology and sperm parameters.


Seminiferous tubules area and diameter were significantly diminished in the group treated with 5 mg/kg CPF (P<0.05). CPF also statistically reduced sperm parameters (count and motility) and damaged sperm morphology) at both doses (P<0.05). However, NAC significantly improved spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatid cell counts as well as sperm parameters in mice treated with both CPF concentrations (P<0.05).


According to our results, NAC may significantly ameliorate CPF-induced damages to spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids cell counts and sperm parameters.


Chlorpyrifos; N-acetylcysteine; Protective; Sperm

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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