Impairment of sperm characteristics unrelated to hormonal alterations in rats treated with cimetidine


  • Uduak Akpan Okon Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences University of Uyo, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
  • Tim Aniekan Okon Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences University of Uyo, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria


Cimetidine, Sperm characteristics, Male fertility hormones


Background: Cimetidine has been reported to possess clinically significant anti androgen activity at high dosage. This study was therefore designed to investigate the effect of medium and high dosages of cimetidine on fertility parameters including hormonal components in male wistar albino rats.

Methods: Eighteen male wistar albino rats were used, and were randomly separated into three groups of 6 rats each. Group one served as control and was gavaged 5ml of distilled water, group II (medium dose) received 475 mg/kg and group III (high dose) received 950 mg/kg of cimetidine respectively twice daily for 21 days. On the 22nd day blood samples were obtained by cardiac puncture; blood serum was obtained for hormonal assay and the testes were harvested for sperm analysis.

Results: FSH level was significantly higher in the medium dose group when compared to the control group. Sperm motility was significantly lower in both medium dose and high dose group when compared to the control group. Percentage sperm concentration was significantly lower in both medium dose and high dose group, this decrease was not dose dependent. Percentage normal sperm morphology was significantly lower in both medium dose and high dose group. Normal sperm morphology was significantly lower in high dose group when compared to medium dose group.  

Conclusions: This result is suggestive of a deleterious effect of cimetidine on sperm characteristics with minimal impact on the hormonal component. 


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