Human & experimental toxicology

Evaluation of the reproductive toxicity of naproxen sodium and meloxicam in male rats.

PMID 25034942


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme inhibitors have generally been used in short-term pain management and also to treat inflammation chronically. It is known that COX enzyme and prostaglandins play important roles in the regulation of reproductive functions in females. However, there are relatively few studies for the male reproductive system, and the results of these studies are contradictory. In this study, sperm count and motility, COX-1, COX-2, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) levels in testis tissue, plasma follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone levels, and histopathological examination of testis tissue were evaluated after naproxen sodium and meloxicam administration in male rats. Also, testis superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH) levels were measured to investigate the oxidation status. According to our results, sperm count and motility were significantly decreased in treatment groups. Plasma hormone levels did not show any statistical differences between the groups. COX-1, PGE2, and PGF2α levels were significantly decreased, while the decreases in COX-2 and PGE1 levels did not show any significance statistically. Testis SOD, catalase, GPx, and GSH levels were decreased significantly. According to the results of histopathological examination, damage in seminiferous tubules, where spermatogenesis developed, was observed. In conclusion, naproxen sodium and meloxicam decreased the sperm count and motility and also induced the damage of seminiferous tubules as a direct effect without affecting plasma hormone levels in our study. The mechanism of the reproductive toxicity induced by these agents may be based on the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and the induction of oxidative stress can be emphasized as a secondary factor.