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Background: Monosodium glutamate, MSG, is a widely consumed and inadvertently abused glutamate-based flavour enhancer that could impair male fertility. L-arginine, is a fatherhood amino acid that could improve male reproductive apparatus. Possibility of simultaneous consumption of MSG and l-arginine exists with unknown outcomes on testicular function. This study aimed to evaluate the role of l-arginine in prevention of testicular function toxicity induced by monosodium glutamate burden in Wistar rats.
Methods: The study involved five rat groups (n = 5). Group 1 rats, normal control, received distilled water. Groups 2,3,4 and 5 rats, respectively received MSG (8000 mg/kg), l-arginine (60 mg/kg), MSG (8000 mg/kg) plus l-arginine (60 mg/kg) and MSG (8000 mg/kg) plus l-arginine (120 mg/kg). Exposure was by oral intubation for 28 consecutive days. Testicular function indicators studied included testosterone activity (in the rats' testes homogenate and serum), sperm quality (sperm count, sperm motility, sperm volume and sperm morphology) and testes histomorphology.
Results: Results revealed significant (P<0.05) and marked diminution of testosterone activity (in the testes and serum), sperm quality and spermatogenic cells of the testes in the rats that received MSG compared to rats in normal control and other groups, notably group 5 that received MSG and high dose of l-arginine together.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated that MSG burden caused testicular function toxicity in the rats, demonstrated by the altered testes histomorphology, diminished testosterone activity and compromised sperm quality. There was a significant reversal by l-arginine notably at 120 mg/kg of the testicular function toxicity caused by MSG burden in the rats via probable modulation of the compromised indicators as determined in the rats. Thus, l-arginine could play a significant role in the prevention of testicular function toxicity induced by MSG burden in rats.
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