Oxidative stress and cytotoxic potential of anticholinesterase insecticide, malathion in reproductive toxicology of male adolescent mice after acute exposure

Document Type: Original Article


Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia


Objective(s):The present study was undertaken to determine the effects of acute exposure to malathion on oxidative stress and cytotoxic potential of anticholinesterase insecticide, malathion in reproductive toxicology of adolescent male mice.
Materials and Methods: Thirty two adolescent male mice at pubertal age were treated with 500 mg/kg body weight (BW) of malathion for three days. After exposure, biochemical markers and sperm analysis were evaluated and finally histological modifications of testis and sperm were assessed.
Results: Our data showed that treatment of male mice with malathion (500 mg/kg, BW) could lead to oxidative stress. Induced oxidative stress status can be assessed due to increased malondialdhyde (MDA) content, decreased thiol group content, as well as increased antioxidant enzyme activities. On the other hand, exposure to malathion at the pubertal age led to alteration of semen parameters; sperm production and percentage of motile sperm were decreased in the treated groups compared to the control.  Furthermore, exposure of male mice to malathion led to a decrease of testosterone level, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, and decrease of the reproductive performance of male mice after three days of treatment at the age of puberty.
Conclusion: The importance to carry out in vitro reproductive toxicology assays lies on the need of knowing the alterations these insecticides may cause at cellular level, since they are endocrine disruptors that interfere with reproductive functions.


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