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Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 37:2022 > Article
Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology 2022;37(2):e2022015-0. doi: https://doi.org/10.5620/eaht.2022015
Chronic toxic effects of polystyrene microplastics on reproductive parameters of male rats
Ifenna Ilechukwu1,2 , Ben Enoluomen Ehigiator3 , Inemesit Okon Ben4 , Chinedu Joseph Okonkwo5, Oluwakemi S. Olorunfemi3, Uchechukwu Emmanuel Modo6 , Chibuamam Ezinwanneamaka Ilechukwu7, Ngozika Juliet Ohagwa5
1Graduate School of Engineering and Science, Department of Marine and Environmental Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan
2Environmental Chemistry Unit, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria
3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria
4Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana
5Department of Biochemistry, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State, Nigeria
6Department of Biochemistry, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
7Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Corresponding Author: Inemesit Okon Ben ,Email: ioben@uhas.edu.gh
Received: March 23, 2022;  Accepted: May 26, 2022.
Microplastics have become a significant environmental concern. However, information on toxicity of microplastics in terrestrial organisms is limited. In this study, the chronic toxic effects of polystyrene microplastics (PS-MPs) on the reproductive system and serum antioxidants of male albino Wistar rats fed for 90 days with standard rat feed containing 1-10% granules of crushed polystyrene disposable plates were evaluated. Significant reductions in volume, motility, epididymal sperm count and serum testosterone level were observed. Histological examination of testicular architecture showed distorted testes with vacuolated seminiferous tubules at the highest percentage, together with increased catalase and decreased superoxide dismutase activities. This study showed that ingestion of PS-MPs caused reproductive dysfunction in male rats and contributes to understanding the potential toxicity of microplastics in terrestrial animals.
Keywords: Microplastics, polystyrene, Wistar rats, sperm quality, reproductive toxicity, testosterone
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