P-1: Morphine Has Detrimental Effects on Sperm Parameters, Chromatin Quality and DNA Integrity in Mice
Morphine as a natural alkaloid (opiate) is considered as one of the problems associated with poor semen production and sperm quality. For the first time, this experimental study was carried out to evaluate the impact of intra-peritoneal injection of morphine on sperm parameters, chromatin quality and DNA integrity of spermatozoa aspirated from cauda epididymis of mice.
Materials and methods
Totally 24 adult male balb/c mice (8 weeks old. 30 g) were equally divided into 3 groups (n=8). Mice of group 1 served as control fed on basal diet, group 2 received basal diet and normal saline and group 3 received basal diet and morphine (15 mg/kg/daily, intraperitoneal) for 35 days. Finally, the right tail of epididymis of each animal was removed and placed in Ham’s F10 for 30 min. Released spermatozoa were used to analyze count, motility, viability (eosin-nigrosin staining), morphology (Papanicolaou stain), chromatin quality with Toluidine blue (TB) and apoptosis via TUNEL assay.
In morphine-treated mice a significant decrease was found in sperm viability, normal morphology, count and motility compared to other groups (P<0.05). With regard to chromatin quality the rates of TB-reacted spermatozoa were significantly higher in morphine group (P<0.05). In addition, in morphine mice there was a significant increase in apoptosis compared to other groups (P<0.05).
Morphine abuse disturbs sperm parameters and DNA integrity and also causes the production of spermatozoa with less condensed chromatin. Thus, the above mentioned anomalies may reduce the fertility potential of spermatozoa in mice as an experimental model.