Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Malathion-induced testicular toxicity is associated with spermatogenic apoptosis and alterations in testicular enzymes and hormone levels in male Wistar rats.

PMID 25686724


Malathion has a broad range of toxicities while its reproductive effects have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we treated animals with malathion by gavage at doses of 0, 33.75, 54, and 108 mg/kg for 60 days and evaluated the alterations in histology, biochemistry and serology. Malathion caused the reduction in the sperm counts and motility. The reduced body and testis weights were coupled with mild to severe degenerative changes in seminiferous tubules. We found malathion at 54 mg/kg increased spermatogenic apoptosis rate which was confirmed by changes in protein expression of Bax and Bcl-2. The activities of testicular enzymes including ACP, LDH and γ-GT were significantly altered with the reduced level of reproductive hormones such as LH, FSH and T. These results indicate that malathion can elicit deleterious effects on reproductive system of rats. The abnormal levels of hormones and apoptotic proteins induced by malathion may play important roles.