The present study aimed to elucidate the effects of nicotine and Gelam honey on testis parameters and sperm qualities of rats. Sprague Dawley rats (4 to 5 weeks old) were divided into 4 groups with 7 rats for each group. Rats of the honey (H) and honey-control (HC) groups were force-fed daily with 1.0 ml/100 g body weight of Gelam honey and normal saline (0.9%), respectively. Rats in the nicotine (N) group were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 5.0 mg/kg body weight of nicotine whilst the nicotine-control (NC) group received normal saline (0.9%) injection (i.p.) in similar doses as in the N group. After 60 days of treatments, the rats were sacrificed. Testicular parameters and sperm qualities were assessed for motility, vitality and morphology. There were no significant differences in weight, length and width gain of testis among the groups. The H group showed significantly higher sperm motility (18.85 ± 5.89 × 105/ml) and normal morphology of sperm (193.73 ± 1.03) than the HC group (p≤0.05). However, for the N group, lower sperm motility (17.80 ± 6.45 × 105/ml), lesser sperm with normal morphology (119.59 ± 5.70) and live sperm (156.80 ± 8.91) were observed as compared to the NC group (p≤0.05). This study suggested that i.p. injection of nicotine could adversely affect sperm qualities and Gelam honey was potentially useful in increasing the fertility of juvenile male rats by increasing sperm motility and number of morphologically normal sperm.
Key words: Sprague dawley rats, honey, nicotine, sperm quality.
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