Morphological and morphometric study on the effect of simulated microgravity on rat testis
Motabagani, M. A. H. (2007). "Morphological and morphometric study on the effect of simulated microgravity on rat testis." Chinese Journal of Physiology 50 4: 199-209
The present study was undertaken to determine the effect of simulated microgravity on the testis of the rats and to evaluate the possibility of spermatogenesis failure in space environment. Fifty-four adult male albino rats were used in this study. They were divided equally into intact control, stress control and experimental groups. The rats of the intact control group (Group Ia) were kept without intervention. The rats of both the stress control and experimental groups were subjected to inguinal canal ligation and tail-suspension. In the stress control group (Group Ib) the hindlimbs were not elevated above the floor of the housing units whereas in the experimental groups the hindlimbs were elevated for one week (Group II) and six weeks (Group III), respectively. In a third experimental group (Group IV) the rats were hindlimb-suspended for six weeks followed by another six weeks without suspension to allow recovery. Prior to sacrifice, the animals were weighed and anesthetized, and the testes were excised and weighed. Testicular specimens were processed for histological, histochemical and morphometric studies. The results of the present study revealed that only after six weeks of hindlimb-suspension, the rats showed a significant decline in testicular weight compared with the control groups. Histologically, few abnormalities were observed in some seminiferous tubules in one-week hindlimb-suspended group. Spermatogenesis was significantly reduced by six-week of hindlimb-suspension marked by atrophy of the testes and loss of all germ cells, except a few spermatogonia. Spermatogenesis was partially restored in the recovery group. In all groups the appearance of Sertoli cells remained the same. Proliferation of Leydig cells was observed in the experimental groups. It is concluded that spermatogenesis is severely inhibited by six weeks of hindlimb-suspension and that it is partially restored following six weeks of recovery. This study provides further insights regarding the serious effects of long-term exposure to microgravity on the testes of mammals, including human beings.
ISSN: 0304-4920 (Print) 0304-4920 (Linking)
Accession Number: 17982918