oa South African Journal of Science - Effects of chloroquine on male fertility in Wistar rats

Volume 83, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



function in Wistar rats. Weekly administration of the drug (40 or 50mg/kg body weight) reduced epididymal sperm number without affecting the proportions of motile or abnormal sperm. There was a significant reduction in testicular DNA content with both doses tested. Although a slight reduction in testicular weight was recorded in the 50-mg group only, the number of testicular germ cells was reduced with both doses tested. There were no significant changes in the weights of the accessory organs and in the levels of circulating androgens and gonadotrophins. However, chloroquine reduced litter size and increased the incidence of stillbirths and abnormal pups. The drug appears to be deleterious both at the testicular and epididymal levels, although the latter could be the result of the former. Whereas the use of chloroquine in recommended therapeutic doses for malaria is unlikely to cause serious fertility problems, exploitation of the anti-inflammatory properties of higher doses of the drug requires further consideration.

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