Journal of Human Reproductive Science
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-20
Reproductive toxicity of Carlina gummifera L. incense inhalation in adult male wistar rats

Department of Life Sciences, Laboratory of Integrated Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Bizerte, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Sakly Mohsen
Laboratory of Integrated Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Jarzouna 7021, Bizerte
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jhrs.jhrs_149_21

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Background: Burning incense of Carlina gummifera L. is a traditional practice in North African countries for religious or ritual intentions. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of smoke incense of this plant on the reproductive function in adult male rats. Setting and Design: This study was conducted in the Integrated Physiology Laboratory. Materials and Methods: Plant roots were collected, dried and finely ground in powder form. Adult Wistar rats were randomly assigned to treated groups exposed daily during 60 min for 15 consecutive days to smoke incense at 2, 4 and 6 g and a control group was subjected to the same conditions in the absence of smoke. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis was performed using one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison as the post hoc test. Results: Exposure to the incense of Carlina gummifera L. seriously affected dose dependently the reproductive function in male rats. It was found that in treated groups, the testicle relative weight decreased, while those of seminal vesicles and prostate increased when compared to the untreated group. Carlina gummifera L. incense inhalation reduced the total number, viability and mobility of epididymis spermatozoa compared to control. Furthermore, incense exposure induced various histological changes in the testes, prostate and seminal vesicles, including in particular a decrease in the number of gametes in the seminiferous tubes, the reduction of prostatic secretions and the macrophagic resorption of the seminal secretions. The effect of Carlina incense on the antioxidant system was evaluated by assaying the two antioxidant enzyme activities catalase and superoxide dismutase as well as thiol group levels in the testicles. Our results showed that fumigation affected these parameters, suggesting that the morphological and functional modifications in the male reproductive system induced by Carlina gummifera L. incense may be related, in part, to the alteration of the oxidative balance in the testicle. Conclusion: Smoke incense of Carlina gummifera L. caused marked reproductive toxicity in adult male rats associated with induced oxidative stress.

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