Introduction: Modern agricultural practices are becoming indispensably and heavily reliant on the use of pesticides or insecticides for crop yield enhancement. With respect to sperm and testicular tissues, this study design examines the effect of Alchornea cordifolia ethanolic root extract dose dependently on malathion sub-acute toxicity in albino rats.

Method: A nest of thirty male albino rats (Rattus norvegicus) were divided in six groups of five rats each. The control group (Group 1) was treated to 0.5ml Carboxyl-Methyl-Cellulose (CMC) buffer solution only. Groups II was exposed to 1/25 of LD5025mg/kg body weight of malathion only, while group III received 250mg/kg Alchornea cordifolia alone. Subsequent groups, (IV, V and VI) were co-administered 25mg/kg body weight of malathion with varied. Harvested testicular tissues were subjected to biochemical assay and histological study while the sperm cells were microscopically examined.

Results: The malathion and Alchornea cordifolia treated rats experienced nasal redness, ocular discharge and lethargy as physical signs of sub-acute toxicity. Malathion treatment alone significantly decrease (p<0.05) body weight change, absolute and relative weights of the testis when compared with the control and extract co- treated groups. In a dose dependent manner, co-treatment of malathion with Alchornea cordifolia ethanolic root extract tend to maintain body weight, absolute and relative weights of the testis to near normal. After 42days, malathion administration alone significantly increased (p<0.05) MDA level and nitric oxide (NO.-) activity when compared with extract treated group and control which were significantly reduced (p<0.05). Co-administration of malathion with Alchornea cordifolia indicated a significant change (p<0.05) in sperm motility, sperm count, sperm morphology and sperm volume when compared with malathion administration alone. The damaged and atrophic seminiferous tubule in the testis with edema fills in intertubular space as observed with malathion treatment alone, was reduced upon co- treatment with A. cordifolia at 500 and 750mg/kg body weight.

Conclusion: Aside the attenuating potential of Alchornea cordifolia in radical formation, Alchornea cordifolia dose dependently decline malathion induced toxicity in sperm and testicular tissue of Rattus norvegicus.
Keywords: Malathion, Farmers, Alchornea cordifolia, Testicular tissue