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Minerva Biotechnology and Biomolecular Research 2023 September;35(3):151-60

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-542X.23.02998-X


language: English

A cross-sectional study to assess the reproductive toxicity in men exposed to hexachlorocyclohexane

Sudhir KUMAR 1, Johid R. MALIK 2, Mohammad ABBAS 3, Faizan H. KHAN 4

1 Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow, India; 2 College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA; 3 Department of Personalized and Molecular Medicine, Era University, Lucknow, India; 4 Discipline of Pathology, Lambe Institute for Translational Research, School of Medicine, University of Galway, Galway, Ireland

BACKGROUND: Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) is a widely distributed organochlorine pesticide and a well-known endocrine modulator. The population residing near the lindane manufacturing plant and its dumping sites in Lucknow, India are at high risk of HCH exposure.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was designed to investigate the reproductive toxicity of HCH in 57 HCH exposed and 57 unexposed men in relation to oxidative stress (malondialdehyde [MDA], glutathione [GSH]), genetic alteration in SRY and AZF gene, semen quality and infertility.
RESULTS: The mean blood HCH level and MDA level were found significantly higher (P<0.01) in the exposed group as compared to the unexposed group. However, antioxidant glutathione (GSH) levels and semen quality were found significantly lower (P<0.01) in the exposed group as compared to the unexposed group. The prevalence of infertility was found to be significant (P<0.05) in the exposed group. Multiple correlation analyses showed the significant impact of HCH isomers on semen quality and oxidative stress parameters (GSH and MDA). The odds ratio for semen volume (OR=9.37, P=0.01), sperm motility (OR=28.75, P<0.01), and sperm count (OR=21.40, P<0.01), GSH (OR=0.97, P=0.01) MDA (OR=1.14, P<0.01) were found to be significant. We found three patients (5.3%) with Yq deletion in AZFa and AZFc regions in exposed men. In addition, the five subjects showed a mutation in the HMG box of the SRY gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that higher HCH exposure may cause oxidative damage to DNA in terms of AZF microdeletions and point mutation in the SRY gene, and poor semen quality, resulting in male infertility.

KEY WORDS: Hexachlorocyclohexane; Oxidative stress; Semen analysis; Male infertility

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