Evaluation of sperm quality in mice exposed to camphor and protective role of Vitamin E


Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Tehran- Iran


BACKGROUND: In traditional medicine in some Asian countries, including Iran, there is a belief that camphor is a suppressor of sexual activity. Not only has the validity of this hypothesis not been established, but also studies in this field are very limited.  OBJECTIVES: In this study, we investigated the effects of camphor on sperm quality in mice, and to protect sperm damage vitamin E as an antioxidant was used. METHODS: This study was conducted on 30 adult male mice (balb/c) with weight range 20-25 gr in 5 groups. First group was control (CO) and treated with normal saline,  groups  2 and 3 were sham groups treated respectively with Olive oil (OL) and the combination of olive oil and vitamin E (OL+E), and finally, two experimental groups were treated using camphor (CA) and camphor with vitamin E (CA+E). Camphor at doses of 30 mg/kg/day and vitamin E at doses of 100 mg/kg/day were prepared. All materials were administered orally (gavage). After 35 days semen were collected from tail of epididymis, and then total count, motility, viability, nuclear maturity, and DNA damage were examined. RESULTS: Results showed significant reduction in sperm total count, percentage of viability, increase in  the number of immature sperms and  no significant difference in rate of motile sperms and sperms with damaged DNA in groups that received Camphor was observed. Vitamin E as a strong antioxidant administered lightly was able to reduce the effects of  Camphor on viable and mature sperms (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that Camphor could affect on mice sperm quality and vitamin E as an antioxidant,  was able to slightly reduce Camphor effects in sperm quality.


Anczewski, W., Dodzuik, H., Ejchart, A. (2003) Manifestation of chiral recognition of camphor enantiomers by alphacyclodextrin in longitudinal and transverse relaxation rates of the corresponding 1:2 complexes anddetermination of the orientation of the guest inside the host capsule. Chirality. 7: 654-659.
Barzegari, F., Mirhosseini, M. (2012) Effect of persian hogweed (Heracleum persicum) on the morphological changes in micetestis and the level of hormone testostrone. Razi J Med Sci. 19: 18-24.
Blackman, W.P., Curry, H.B. (1957) Camphor poisoning: report of case occurring during pregnancy. J Fla Med Assoc. 43: 999-1000.
Budavari, S., O’Neil, M.J., Smith, A., Heckelman, P.E., Kinneary, J.F. (1996) The Merck index, an Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals. (12th ed.) New Jersey: Merck & Co.
Carrión, Y., Ntinou, M., Badal, E., Olea europaea, L. (2010) in the North Mediterranean Basin during the Pleniglacial and the Early-Middle Holocene. Quat Sci Rev. 29: 952-968.
Caserta, D., Maranghi, L., Mantovani, A., Marci, R., Maranghi, F., Moscarini, M. (2008) Impact of endocrine disruptor chemicals in gynaecology. Hum Reprod Update. 14: 59-72.
Chatterjie, N., Alexander, G.J. (1986) Anticonvulsant properties ofspirohydantoins derived from optical isomers of camphor. Neurochem Res. 11: 1669-1676.
Ganesh, E., Chowdhury, A., Malarvani, T., Ashok vardhan, N. (2012) Hepatoprotective effect of Vitamin- E & C in Albino rats. Int J Adv Lif Sci. 3: 21-26.
Gerald, G.B., Roger, K.F., Sumner, J.Y. (2001) Drugs in pregnancy and lactation. (6th ed). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins publishers. Philadelphia, USA.
Gibson, D.E., moore, G.P., Pfaff, J.A. (1989) Camphor injestion. Am J Emerg Med. 7: 41-43.
Goel, H.C., Singh, S., Adhikari, J.S., Rao, A.R. (1985) Radiomodifying effect of camphor on the spermatogonia of mice. Jpn J Exp Med. 55: 219-223.
Gomes-Carneiro, M.R., Elzenszwalb, I.F., Paumgartten, F.J. (1998) Mutagenicity testing (+/-)-camphor, 1, 8-cineole, citral, citronellal, (-)-menthol and terpineol with the Salmonella/microsome assay. Mutat Res. 416: 129-136.
Guilbert, J., Flamant, C., Hallalel, F., Doummar, D., Frata, A., Renolleau, S. (2007) Anti-flatulencetreatment and status epilepticus: a case of camphor intoxication.Emerg Med J. 24: 859-860.
Hess, R.A. (2003) Estrogen in the adult male reproductive tract: a review. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 1: 52.
Jadhav, M.V., Sharma, R.C., Rathore, M., Gangawane, A.K. (2010) Effect of Cinnamomum Camphora on human sperm motility and sperm viability. Journal of Clinical research letters. J Clin res lett. 1: 1-10.
Jamshidzadeh, A., Sajedianfardb, J., Nekooeianc, A.K., avakolia, F., Omranid, G.H. (2006) Effects of Camphor on Sexual Behaviors in Male Rats. IJPS. 2: 209-214.
Janjua, N.R., Mogensen, B., Andersson, A.M., Petersen, J.H., Henriksen, M., Skakkebaek, N.E., Wulf, H.C. (2004) Systemicabsorption of the sunscreens benzophenone-3, octylmethoxycinnamate, and 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor after whole-body topical application and reproductive hormone levelsin humans. J Invest Dermatol. 123: 57-61.
Knezevic-Vukcevic, J., Vukovic-Gacic, B., Stevic, T., Stanojevic, J., Nikolic, B., Simic, D. (2006) Antimutagenic effect of essential oil of sage (Salvia officinalis L.) and its fractions against uv-induced mutations in bacterial and yeast cells. Arch Biol Sci. 57: 163-172.
Koppel, C., Tenczer, J., Schirop, T., Ibe, K. (1982) Camphor poisoning - abuse of camphor as a stimulant. Arch Toxicol. 51: 101-106.
Lattanzi, A., Iannece, P., Vicinanza, A., Scettri, A. (2003) Renewable camphor-derived hydroperoxide: synthesis and usein the asymmetric epoxidation of allylic alcohols. Chem Common. 12: 1440-1441.
Leuschner, J. (1997) Reproduction toxicity studies of D-camphor in rats and rabbits. Arzneimittel-forschung. 47: 124-128.
Libelt, E.L., Shannon, M.W. (1993) Small doses, big problems: a selected review of highly toxic common medications. Pediatr Emerg Care. 9: 292-297.
Liu, C.H., Mishra, A.K., Tan, R.X., Tang, C., Yang, H., Shen, Y.F. (2006) Repellent and insecticidal activities of essential oils from Artemisia princeps and Cinnamomum camphora and their effect on seed germination of wheat and broad bean. Bioresour Technol. 97: 1969-4973.
Manoguerra, A.S., Erdman, A.R., Wax, P.M., Nelson, L.S., Caravati, E.M., Cobaugh, D.J., Chyka, P.A., Olson, K.R., Booze, L.L., Woolf, A.D., Keyes, D.C., Christianson, G., Scharman, E.J., Troutman, W.G. (2006) CamphorPoisoning: an evidence-based practice guideline for out-ofhospitalmanagement. Clin Toxicol. 44: 357-370.
Michiels, E.A., Mazor, S.S. (2010) Toddler with seizures due toingesting camphor at an Indian celebration. Pediatr Emerg Care. 26: 574-575.
Mojab, F., Nickavar, B. (2003) Composition of theessential oil of theroot of Heracleum persicum from Iran. Iranian J Pharm Res. 2: 245-247.
Mokhtari, M., Sharifi, E., Moghadamnia, D. (2007) Effect of alcoholicextract of phoenix dactylifera spathe on histological change intestis and concentrations of LH, FSH and testosterone in malerat. IJBMS. 9: 265-271.
Najafizadeh, P., Dehghani, F., Panjeh Shahin, M.R., Hamzei Taj, S. (2013) The effect of a hydro-alcoholic extract of olive fruit on reproductive argons in male sprague-dawley rat. Iran J Reprod Med. 11: 293-300.
Nikravesh, M.R., Jalali, M. (2004) The Effect of Camphor on the Male Mice Reproductive System. Urology J. 4: 268-72.
Oser, B. (1965) Hawk’s Physiological Chemistry. (14th ed.) McGraw Hill. New York.
Owen, R., Mier, W., Giacosa, A., Hull, W., Spiegelhalder, B., Bartsch, H. (2000) Identification of lignans as major components in the phenolic fraction of olive oil. Clin Chem. 46: 976.
Park, T.J., Seo, H.K., Kang, B.J., Kim, K.T. (2001) Noncompetitive inhibition by camphor of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Biochem Pharmacol. 61: 787-793.
Pearce, J.M. (2008) Leopold Auenbrugger: camphor-inducedepilepsy - remedy for manic psychosis. Eur Neurol. 59: 105-107.
Rabl, W., Katzgraber, F., Steinlechner, M. (1997)Camphor ingestion for abortion (case report). Forensic Sci Int. 89: 137-140.
Reynolds, J.E.F. (1996) Martindale, the Extra Pharmacopoeia. (29th ed). Pharmaceutical Press. London, Uk.
Rezvanfar, M., Sadrkhanlou, R., Ahmadi, A., Shojaei-Sadee, H., Rezvanfar, M., Mohammadirad, A., Salehnia, A., Abdollahi, M. (2008) Protection of cyclophosphamide-induced toxicity in reproductive tract histology, sperm characteristics, and DNA damage by an herbal source; evidence for role of free-radical toxic stress. Hum Exp Toxicol. 12: 901-910.
Rezvanfar, M.A., Shahverdi, A.R., Ahmadi, A., Baeeri, M., Mohammadirad, A., Abdollahi, M. (2013) Protection of cisplatin-induced spermatotoxicity, DNA damage and chromatin abnormality by selenium nano-particles. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 266: 356-365.
Roberts, D., Veeramachaneni, D.R., Schlaff, W.D., Awoniyi, C.A. (2000) Effects of chronic dietary exposure to genistein, a phytoestrogen, during various stages of development on reproductive hormones and spermatogenesis in rats. Endocrine. 13: 281-286.
Sabah, A.L. (2009) Effect of Camphor on Uterus Histology of Pregnant Rats. JKAU: Med Sci. 16: 77-90.
Saleha, Y.M.A. (2009) Evaluation of camphor mutagenicity in somatic cells of pregnant rats. Asian J Biotechnol. 1: 111-117.
Seidlova-Wuttke, D., Christoffel, J., Rimoldi, G., Jarry, H., Wuttke, W. (2006) Comparison of effects of estradiol with those of octylmethoxycinnamate and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor on fat tissue, lipids and pituitary hormones. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 214: 1-7.
Sharafkandi, A., Avicenna. (2010) The Canon. Tehran, Soroush Press; [Book in persian].
Shiuam, C., Cho, M., Karlsberg, K., Zhou, D., Yuan, Y.C. (2004) Biochemical andbiological characterization of a novel anti-aromatase coumarinederivative. from the department of surgical research and divisionof informational science. J Biol. 279: 48071-48087.
Shahabi, S., Jorsaraei, S.G., Moghadamnia, A., Barghi, E., Zabihi, E., Golsorkhtabar Amiri, M., Maliji, G., Sohan Faraji, A., Abdi Boora, M., Ghazinejad, N., Shamsai, H. (2013) The Effect of Camphor on Sex Hormones Levels in Rats. Cell J (Yakhteh). 16: 231-234.
Waller, D.P., Kilinger, J.M., Zaneveld, L.J.D. (1985) Physiology and toxicology of the male reproductive tract. (3rd ed.) Raven PressNew York, USA.
Weber, K., Setchell, K., Stocco, D., Lephart, E. (2001) Dietary soy-phytoestrogens decrease testosterone levels and prostate weight without altering LH, prostate 5alpha-reductase or testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory peptide levels in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. J Endocrinol. 170: 591-599.
Wing, T.Y., Christensen, A.K. (1982) Morphometric studies on rat seminiferous tubules. Am J Anat. 165: 13-25.
Yu, S.C., Bochot, A., Bas, G.L., Chéron, M., Mahuteau, J., Grossiord, J.L., Seiller, M., Duchêne, D. (2003) Effect of camphor/cyclodextrincomplexation on the stability of O/W/O multiple emulsions. Int J Pharm. 261: 1-8.
Zuccarini, P. (2009) Camphor: risks and benefits of a wide usednatural product. J Appli Sci Enviorn Manage. 13: 69-74.