Both aluminium and ethanol are pro-oxidants and toxic. Uncontrolled use of aluminium and increasing trends of ethanol consumption in India increased the chance of co-exposure to aluminium and ethanol. There are possibilities, that both of them follow common mechanisms to produce reproductive toxicity. The present study was planned to identify the effects of aluminium administration on the microscopic structure of testis in presence of ethanol.
Sixteen male rats were divided into one vehicle control and three experimental groups and exposed to aluminium (4.2 mg/kg body weight) and ethanol (1 g/kg body weight) for 3 months. After the exposure period, testes were processed for light microscopic examination. Aluminium-treated and ethanol-treated rats showed loss of normal distribution of spermatogenic cells in the seminiferous tubules and few fragmented sperms in the lumen. Combined treatment of aluminium and ethanol showed acute degeneration of the spermatogenic epithelium. Vacuolar degenerative changes appeared in the cytoplasm of the spermatogenic epithelium and Sertoli cells. Abnormal distribution of spermatozoa was seen in the lumen. Most of the tubules showed that the germ layers were detached from the basal lamina. It has been suggested that the ethanol induced augmentation of impacts of aluminium on the testis.