Paranonilphenol (p-NP) is an environmental pollutant that affects the male reproductive system through induction of oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as an antioxidant against impairment of testicular tissue caused by p-NP. In this study, 24 adult male NMRI mice were randomly divided into 4 groups (n=6 each groups): 1-Control, 2- p-NP (250 mg/kg/day), 3-NAC (150 mg/kg/day) and 4-p-NP+NAC. After 35 days of orally treatment a significant decrease in the diameter (P<0.01), germinal epithelium height (P<0.04), basement membrane thickness and volume of seminiferous tubules (P<0.02) and as well as a significant decrease in serum testosterone level (P<0.04) were observed. Also a significant decrease in the count of sertoli (P<0.04), leydig (P<0.02), spermatogonia (P<0.04), spermatocyte (P<0.04), round and long spermatid (P<0.02) cells in the p-NP group compared to other group were observed. In the p-NP group, atrophy, edema, reduction in lumens sperm density and vacuoled were observed. While in this group a significant increase in the interstitial tissue volume (p<0.01), level of testis MDA (p<0.01) and count of the positive-TUNEL cells (p<0.01) in the seminiferous tubules were observed. NAC can significantly compensate the parameters mentioned above in NAC +p-NP group compared to the p-NP group.
The findings of this study showed that NAC, as a potent antioxidant, can compensate the adverse effects of p-NP on testicular tissue.