Effects of chronic tramadol administration on testicular tissue in rats: an experimental study.

PMID 25228095


In a prospective experimental study, the effects of chronic tramadol administration on gonadotrophic and sex hormones, histopathological and morphometrical alterations in rat testicular tissue were investigated in a laboratory setting. Tramadol was given alone to adult male albino rats. Gonadotrophic and serum sex hormone levels were measured and testicular pathological and morphometric changes were observed in treated vs. After 30 days of treatment, tramadol induced a decrease in LH, FSH and testosterone serum levels. Histologically, degenerative changes in the seminiferous tubules were observed. They showed shrinkage, separation of tubular basement membrane, disorganisation and vacuolisation of spermatogenic layers. Morphometric analysis revealed significant decrease in the mean values of the tubular diameter and epithelial height. Ultrastructural abnormalities were detected in all cells of spermatogenic lineage in addition to the appearance of apoptotic cells. Sertoli cell vacuolation, huge lipid droplets and disrupted Sertoli cell junctions were observed. Leydig cells showed euchromatic nuclei and dilated smooth endoplasmic reticulum. In view of these findings, it is concluded that tramadol induces alterations in sex hormonal levels in conjunction with disruption of the normal histological structure of rat testis. This might lead to the risk of male infertility. Therefore, tramadol should be used with caution with appropriate dose monitoring.