The Effects of Folic Acid on Testicular Histology, Sperm Quality, and Spermatogenesis Indices Following 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine Exposure in Adult Male Rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Afzalipour Clinical Center for Infertility, Afzalipour Hospital, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Leishmaniasis Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: There is an increasing concern over acute exposure of amphetamine and its derivative such as
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on male reproductive toxicity. Supplementary vitamins can
reduce the oxidative stresses and repair the damages on reproductive organs. This experimental study was
conducted to evaluate the effects of folic acid (FA) on reproductive indices, the antioxidant enzyme activities,
and histological changes of testis on adult male rats treated by MDMA.
Methods: This experimental study was conducted on adult male Wistar rats. Animals were divided into 4
groups: control, MDMA, FA, and MDMA + FA. Animals received a dose of 10 mg/kg of MDMA and 1 mg/kg of
FA for 7 or 14 days. Rats were anesthetized and sperm quality parameters (number, concentration, motility,
and morphology), spermatogenesis indices [the mean seminiferous tubule diameter (MSTD), spermiogenesis
index (SI), repopulation index (RI), and tubular differentiation index (TDI)], changes on testicular structure,
antioxidant enzyme activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA)
beside serum level of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone were
measured. Data were analyzed, using the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and SPSS software.
Findings: MDMA (both 7 and 14 days) caused significant changes in sperm quality (P < 0.001),
spermatogenesis indices (P < 0.001), testicular histopathology, and level of LH, FSH, testosterone beside the
antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, CAT, and MDA) (P < 0.001). Supplementation of FA in association with
MDMA partially reversed these parameters and made them close to the control group.
Conclusion: The results suggested that FA could reduce the adverse effect of MDMA on reproductive ability in
adult male rats.