Effect of Smokeless Tobacco Product, Afzal, on the Reproductive Hormones and Gonadal Pathology of Wistar Rats

Nawal Al-Mukhaini, Taher Ba Omar, Elsadig Eltayeb, Aisha Al Khayat Al-Shehi, Jamila Al-Belushi, Nafila Al-Riyami, Romulo Cipriano, Kawther Al-Adawi


Afzal is a common smokeless tobacco product (STP) in Oman, and it is believed to contain toxins that may affect the reproductive hormones and hence reproductive function. This study assessed the effect of  Afzal  on the gonads of Wistar rats.  In order to assess gonad toxicity induced by this STP, an aqueous extract of Afzal was added to drinking water to be administrated orally to Wistar albino rats (n = 72) classified as young (4 weeks old) and adult (20 weeks old) of both genders weighing between 60-80 g and 150-240 g respectively for 8 weeks. The rats were divided into 3 groups; control (received distilled water instead of Afzal extract), low-dose (received 3 mg nicotine/kg body weight/day) and high-dose (received 6 mg nicotine/kg body weight/day). At the termination of the study, the rats were euthanized and their blood samples and ovaries were collected for biochemical and histopathological investigations. Testosterone and estradiol hormones showed a significant decrease (P<0.05( in Afzal-treated groups (low and high doses) compared with the control. Histopathological findings revealed the damaging effects manifested as a reduction in the number of the germ cells with deformed organization and in fatty and fibrous degenerations in testes and ovaries. Afzal was found to have adverse effect on the reproductive hormones and gonadal pathology in Wistar rats of both genders, and hence users of Afzal need to consider the risk associated with its frequent use.


Smokeless Tobacco Product; Afzal; Wistar Rats; Reproductive Hormones, Testes; Ovaries; Testosterone; Estradiol.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/squjs.vol25iss1pp1-9


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