Effect of ribavirin on epididymal sperm count in rat

K. Narayana, Urban J A D'Souza, K. P. Seetharama Rao

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Ribavirin (1-β-D-ribofuranosyl-1, 2, 4-triazole-3-Carboxamide) is a potent inhibitor of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, used widely as an antiviral drug. Although it has been reported as a teratogen, its effect on spermatogenesis is not known. Male Wistar rats were segregated into 24 groups of 5 in each. Six groups were treated with water, 6 groups with 20 mg/kg, another 6 groups with 100 mg/kg and remaining 6 groups with 200 mg/kg for 5 days at intervals of 24 h (i.p.). Animals were anaesthetized at 14, 28, 35, 42, 70 and 105 days following the last exposure, laparatomy was conducted, epididymis was removed, minced in 1 ml phosphate buffered saline (PBS, pH 7.2), filtered and stained with 1% aqueous eosin Y. An aliquot was taken in haemocytometer, diluted in PBS and charged into Neubauer's chamber. Spermatozoa were counted in 8 squares except the central, and multiplied by 5 x 104. Data were analysed by Mann-Whitney "U" test. Ribavirin significantly decreased the sperm count in a dose and time dependent pattern and showed a recovery by day 105 except at 200 mg/kg. Ribavirin is reversibly cytotoxic to germ cells and decreases the production of spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31-01-2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


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