SUMMARY: Testicular toxicity has been implicated in highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) treatment. Hence there is need to identify an effective antioxidant product that can alleviate testicular necrosis due to HAART administration. Forty eight adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. The animals were divided into eight (8) groups: A-H (n= 6). Group A animals received normal saline as the control; Group B was given Nevirapine (Nv); Group C was given Kolaviron (Kv); Group D was given vitamin C; Group E was given Nv and Kv; Group F was given Nv and Vitamin C; Group G was given Nv for 56 d and Kv for 28 d serving as a withdrawal group; Group H was given corn oil. Nv, Kv and Vit. C were given at 1.54, 200 and 250 (mg·kg)/bw respectively while all administrations were through oral gavage. The body weights were taken every other day. Thereafter, they were anaesthetized with halothane. The testes were excised, weighed, fixed in Bouin’s fluid and stained with H&E while the epididymes removed for semen fluid analyses. The results showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease in sperm motility in group E (Nevirapine + kolaviron) when compared with group F (Nevirapine + Vitamin C) while Sperm count was not significantly different (P>0.05) across the groups. The testicular histoarchitectural studies revealed indistinct spermatogonia, necrotic interstititial endocrine cells in the altered interstitial space, fragmented spermatids, atrophy of mature spermatocytes, degenerated germ cells, obliterated seminiferous tubules lumen, undifferentiated spermatogonia and cellular debris in the somniferous tubules lumen of nevirapine administered group but normal across the other groups. In the testis, there were no significant reduction in SOD, Catalase and GPx activities but a significant decrease in GST activity (P<0.001) when group E was compared with group F. In conclusion, vitamin C presents a better remediation in nevirapine induced spermiotoxicity compared to kolaviron in Sprague-Dawley rats.
KEY WORDS: Nevirapine; Kolaviron; Testicular toxicity; Sperm count; Antioxidant enzymes.