Co-administration of alcohol and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in male Sprague Dawley rats: a study on testicular morphology, oxidative and cytokines perturbations
Alcohol consumption alongside combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has attracted research interest,especially because of increasing male infertility. This study investigated the combined effects of alcohol and cART on testicular morphology, biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis. Rats, weighing 330-370 g, were divided into four groups of six animals each; control, alcohol treated (A), cART, and alcohol plus cART treated (A+cART). Following 90 days treatment period, animals were euthanized, testis extracted, and routinely processed for histology and immunohistochemical analysis. Significantly decreased epithelial area fraction, increased luminal and connective tissue area fractions, and reduction of epithelial height and spermatocyte number, were recorded in the treated groups compared to control. Extensive seminiferous epithelial lesions including widened intercellular space, karyolysis, and sloughing of germinal epithelium were recorded in all the treated groups. Furthermore, upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, interleukin-6, and caspase 3 recorded in treated animals, was more significant in A+cART group. Also, the levels of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α were more elevated in A and cART treated groups than in A+cART, while MDA was significantly elevated in cART and A+cART treated groups compared to control group. Altogether, the results indicate testicular toxicity of the treatments. It is concluded that consuming alcohol or cART induces oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in testis of rats, which lead to testicular structural and functional derangements, which are exacerbated when alcohol and cART are consumed concurrently. The result will invaluably assist clinicians in management of reproductive dysfunctions in male HIV/AIDS-alcoholic patients on cART.
Materials and Methods
Conflicts of Interest