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Systems biology in reproductive medicine

The effect of melatonin on procarbazine induced testicular toxicity on rats.


PMID 25140409

Abstract

Procarbazine (P) is an effective chemotherapeutic drug especially used in lymphoma treatment; however testicular toxicity is a limiting factor. Various ways of treatment were tried to preserve testicular function including hormonal treatment, antioxidant treatment, and sperm cryopreservation but resulted with low rates of satisfaction. Procarbazine is a well known agent causing sterility even in the first doses of chemotherapy. Antioxidants such as N acetylcysteine and ascorbate have been used for protective purposes and were very successful. Melatonin (M) is another powerful antioxidant and we aimed to use M for the protection of P induced testicular toxicity in this study. Procarbazine was given peroral by gavage once a week at a dose of 62.5 mg/kg/week for 4 weeks (total dose: 250 mg/kg) (P group) and in procarbazine + melatonin (PM) group, 10 mg/kg melatonin was intraperitoneally administered daily for five days a week for 4 weeks (total 20 days). The experiment ended at day 90. In the P and PM groups the testicle width, length, and weight, sperm A and sperm AB properties (Sperm A: sperms straight line progressive, Sperm B: sperms straight slow progressive, Sperm AB: Sperm A + Sperm B), spermatogonia, Sertoli cells, seminiferous tubule, and germinative layer thickness were lowered as compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the P and PM groups in regard to these parameters. Melatonin preserved Sertoli cell and spermatogonia function. The testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were also preserved. Melatonin significantly decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and preserved the antioxidant enzyme levels such as glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and nitrite nitrate (NO2-/NO3-). Melatonin may protect testicular functions in P treated patients and is open to consideration during chemotherapy since it appears to be without any side effects.