Document Type: Regular Paper
Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Laboratory of Developmental Biology Razi University, Kermanshah, I. R. of Iran
Infertility is a relatively common problem among couples, and Gossypol, a yellowish
pigment detected in cottonseed, is one cause.
Adult NMRI mice (25-35 gr) were used in this study. The animals were kept in standard conditions
with a dark and light cycle of 12:12, controlled humidity and temperature, food and water were available
Gossypol was dissolved in ethanol and diluted by sunflower oil as a vehicle (0.5: 4.5), and were
used orally (13.425 mg/kg per day) for 15 days. The animals were sacrificed 24 hours after the last
The factors compared among these groups were testis and epididymis length and weight, sperm
length and count and also histological differences. Statistical analysis by One Way ANOVA revealed
Gossypol causes a 69.33% & 67.22% decrease in the sperm number compared to control &
sham groups, respectively. It also causes a 29.63% decrease in the epididymal weight, and changes in
the histological structure of the testis.
In conclusion, although gossypol may be a good antifertility agent, it should be handled more
cautiously. Furthermore, the usage of cottonseed oil in snacks should be limited and those field/factorymen
who have contact with cotton should be more careful.