Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 16, pp 15816–15827 | Cite as

Effect of acute gold nanorods on reproductive function in male albino rats: histological, morphometric, hormonal, and redox balance parameters

  • Arwa A. HassanEmail author
  • Ahmed Sabry S. AbdoonEmail author
  • Sawsan M. Elsheikh
  • Mohamed H. Khairy
  • Amina A. Gamaleldin
  • Sameh M. Elnabtity
Research Article


In this study, we investigated the effect of acute administration of gold nanorods (AuNRs) on testicular function, sexual hormones, and oxidative stress parameters in male albino rats. Forty mature male albino rats were divided into two equal groups (n = 20/each). The first group received 1 ml saline solution intraperitoneally (i.p.). The second group received single i.p. injection of 75 μg 50 nm AuNRs/kg/bwt. Five rats from each group were sacrificed on days 1, 3, 7, and 14 post treatment and blood samples were collected for hormonal and biochemical analysis. Testes were collected from each group at each time point for histopathology, morphometric, and transmission electron microscope analyses of testis and epididymis. Results indicated that i.p. injection of AuNRs did not produce any histopathological changes. Morphometric analysis of testicular samples revealed that the height of lining epithelium was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in AuNR group on days 3 and 14 post treatment, and the minor axis of seminiferous tubules was higher (P < 0.05) in AuNR-injected rats than in control group. For the epididymis, the number of spermatozoa was significantly (P < 0.05) higher on days 7 and 14 after AuNR injection when compared with control rats. AuNRs were not detected by TEM at all time points of the experiment. Serum analysis demonstrated that total and free testosterone values significantly (P < 0.05) increased on days 1, 3, 7, and 14 post AuNR injection. LH was higher (P < 0.05) in AuNRs-injected rats on days 3, 7, and 14 post injection, while FSH values were higher (P < 0.05) in AuNR group on days 3 and 14. Malondialdehyde significantly (P < 0.05) decreased on days 3, 7, and 14 in AuNR group, while catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase values were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated on days 3, 7, and 14 in AuNRs-injected rats compared with control group. In conclusion, intraperitoneal injection of 50 nm AuNRs is safe on the reproductive function and has an antioxidant action.


50 nm AuNRs Acute study Histopathological examination Transmission electron microscope Sexual hormone Oxidative stress parameters 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provide by Misr El-Kheir Foundation to conduct this work (Proj ID: LGA 03 15 0032, entitled Applications of photothermal therapy using gold nanoparticles in cancer).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval

All the procedures performed in the current study were in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals published by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH Publication No. 85-23, revised 1996) and approved by ZU-IACUC (2/F/27/2018).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arwa A. Hassan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ahmed Sabry S. Abdoon
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sawsan M. Elsheikh
    • 3
  • Mohamed H. Khairy
    • 3
  • Amina A. Gamaleldin
    • 4
  • Sameh M. Elnabtity
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy &Pharmaceutical IndustriesSinai UniversityEl ArishEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Animal Reproduction, Veterinary Research DivisionNational Research CenterCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary medicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, Medical Research DivisionNational Research CentreCairoEgypt

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