Mokhtar I. Yousef a,*, Mohammed Y.I. Al-Hamadani a, Maher A. Kamel b
a Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
b Department of Biochemistry, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
*Corresponding author: Mokhtar I. Yousef, Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University, 163 Horreya Avenue, Chatby 21526, P.O. Box 832, Alexandria, Egypt.
Received : November 11, 2019
Published : December 13, 2019
The rapid development of nanotechnology raises both interest and concern among researchers. Thus, this study investigated the reproductive toxicity of aluminum oxide nanoparticles (Al2O3NPs) and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) alone or their combination in male rats via testicular damage, spermatoxicity, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA) gene, uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) gene, tumor suppressor gene p53 (p53), cytokines, oxidative stress, sex hormones and testes histopathology. Animals were administered orally with Al2O3NPs (70 mg/kg BW), ZnONPs (100 mg/kg BW) or their combination every day for 75 days. The obtained results represented that exposure to Al2O3NPs and ZnONPs or their combination caused marked DNA fragmentation and at gene expression level mtTFA gene was significantly suppressed. Semen characteristics, testosterone, TSH, antioxidant enzymes and reduced glutathione were significantly decreased. Whereas, free radicals, nitric oxide, UCP2 gene, p53, tumor necrosis factor-α, interliukin-6, FSH, LH, T3 and T4 were significantly increased. Moreover, testes histopathological examination and steroidogenesis enzymes were changed. In conclusion, the present study showed that the reproductive toxicity induced by the combination of Al2O3NPs with ZnONPs was more pronounced than each one.
Keywords: Aluminum oxide nanoparticles; Zinc oxide nanoparticles; Male rats; Reproductive toxicity; Mitochondrial transcription factor A; Uncoupling protein 2; DNA fragmentation; Semen characteristics; hormones; Oxidative stress; Antioxidants; Cytokines; Histopathological changes