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Animal Review

June 2018, Volume 5, 2, pp 12-21

The Potential Effect of Zinc Deficiency on Reproductive Profile of Male Rat and its Possible Consequences

Aamir Nawab


Yi Zhao


Fahar Ibtisham


Guanghui Li


Mei Xiao


Jiang Wu


Wenchao Liu


Shuyan Tang


Lilong An

Aamir Nawab 1

Yi Zhao 2 Fahar Ibtisham 2 Guanghui Li 4
Mei Xiao 2 Jiang Wu 2 Wenchao Liu 2 Shuyan Tang 2 Lilong An 2 

  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural College, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, Guangdong, China; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, PMAS_Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan 1

  2. Department of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural College, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, Guangdong, China 2

  3. Department of Animal Science, Agricultural College, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, Guangdong, China 4

Pages: 12-21

DOI: 10.18488/

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Article History:

Received: 09 August, 2018
Revised: 13 September, 2018
Accepted: 17 October, 2018
Published: 19 November, 2018


Zinc (Zn) has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so, it is being widely used in food and pharmaceutical industries. Transition metal especially Zn deficiency has deleterious effects all over the world due to wide consumption of Zn deficient food byproduct. Several studies have reported that transition elements especially Zinc deficiency affects the endocrine and reproductive system. This overview comprises the information about negative effects of Zn deficiency on reproductive system of male rat and their possible outcomes. Scientific studies indicated that Zn deficiency severely affects the reproductive physiology of male rats. Zn deficiency suppresses the function of male rat testes inclosing spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis by reducing the production of androgen hormone. In addition, Zn deficient rats also indicated testicular atrophy, primary and secondary spermatogonial stem cells disruption, lower number of sperm cells count, sperm quality, motility, viability, enhance in oxidative stress, inhibition of Testosterone (T) level which, in turn may cause infertility. The different consequences in animal models by zinc application are dose and duration dependent. Several studies propose that both higher and lower Zn concentration can effects the rat reproductive function. Therefore, the available outcomes revealed that Zn deficiency might have significant influence on luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone affecting the sperm physiology and histology in certain tissues.
Contribution/ Originality
This recent study has contributed significant scientific information on a particular subject area “Zinc deficiency”. A lot of reports have discussed the Zinc and its effects on human but there is lack of sufficient data related to Zn deficiency on reproductive profile of male rats. Therefore, this study is one of very few studies which have documented that Zinc is necessary in male reproductive system of human and animals. On the other side, it is recommended that optimum amount of Zinc supplementation should be used to avoid the deleterious effects on male reproductive physiology.


Zn deficiency, Testes, Spermatogenesis, Luteinizing hormone, Sperm physiology, Male rats



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Special thanks to Animal Review Journal for giving an opportunity to share knowledge on Zinc deficiency and its possible consequences on male rats reproductive system and strategies to overcome this problem. The author wish to thank beloved parents (Rana Nawab Ahmad and Mrs. Sultana), grandparents (Saith Bachal Din), uncle (Rana Maqbool Ahmad) and brother (Rana Kashif Nawab) for continued support and excellent mentorship.

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