Effects of omega-3 on androgenic activity in cadmium-induced hypertensive rats


Background and objective: Cadmium is a widely distributed metal in the environment that causes testicular toxicity and various tissue damage associated with hypertension. Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, has been demonstrated to be an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. This study aimed to investigate the toxic effects of cadmium on cardiovascular and reproductive systems in male rats and examine the possible protective effects of omega-3 against cadmium-induced hypertension and testicular dysfunctions.Methods: The rats were divided into three groups. The first group served as the control, the second group received cadmium chloride in drinking water, and the third group received cadmium chloride plus omega-3 for 28 days. Blood pressure and heart rate were estimated. Blood samples were collected; sexual hormones and other biochemical parameters were evaluated. Testes and epididymis were taken for semen analysis and histopathology.Results: Significant adverse effects were seen in the studied parameters of the cardiovascular and reproductive systems after cadmium exposure, including hypertension, alteration in sperm parameters, weights of sex glands, and histological structures. In contrast, co-administration of omega-3 significantly reduced mean blood pressure, but improved sperm parameters and the histology of testis. No protective effect of omega-3 could be seen on male hormone and lipid profile parameters except high-density lipoprotein.Conclusion: Exposure to cadmium induced hypertension, impaired testicular functions, and histology. Omega-3 has protective effects on vascular and testicular functions. Therefore, supplementation with omega-3 had a protective effect against cardiovascular and reproductive toxicity induced by cadmium.