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Effects of subchronic ifosfamide-mesna treatment on testes and semen characteristics in the rabbit.


Ifosfamide, a chemotherapeutic agent with a broad spectrum of antineoplastic activity, is concurrently administered with the uroprotectant mesna to avoid the urotoxic effect. This study was undertaken to investigate possible effects of ifosfamide-mesna treatment on the testes and semen characteristics in rabbits. Sexually mature New Zealand White male rabbits received intravenously 10 weekly treatments of ifosfamide+mesna (groups A, B and C received 30, 45 or 60 mg/kg of body weight ifosfamide+6, 9 or 12 mg/kg of body weight mesna, respectively, followed by a second equal dose of mesna 4 h later); groups MA, MB and MC received mesna alone at corresponding doses; and group S received normal saline. Reproductive organ weight as well as various qualitative and quantitative parameters of testis histology (minor diameter of seminiferous tubules, the most advanced germ cell type in seminiferous tubule identified in cross sections, and the number of germ cells per stage 1 seminiferous tubule cross section) were determined 1 day and 20 weeks after the treatment period, while semen quality (sperm count, sperm morphology and sperm progressive motility) and libido were evaluated on a weekly basis. Changes were noted only in the ifosfamide+mesna treated animals. One day after treatment, reproductive organ weights were decreased in groups A-C. Major histopathological lesions were not found; however, quantitative histological endpoints were altered in groups A-C. Transient oligospermia and teratozoospermia were noted in groups B and C, while asthenozoospermia was observed in group C only. The time course of these sperm alterations suggested possible bioaccumulation and residual activity of ifosfamide. Libido remained normal. The decrease in reproductive organ weights persisted in groups B and C to 20 weeks after treatment but only one quantitative histological endpoint, the number of the round spermatids per stage 1 seminiferous tubule cross section, remained decreased in group C. These results suggest that subchronic treatment with ifosfamide-mesna suppressed spermatogenesis and epididymal sperm maturation in the rabbit. Germinal epithelium recovery was not complete because although sperm characteristics returned to pretreatment values, not all histological alterations were ameliorated.


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    Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
    Body Weight
    Drug Combinations
    Genitalia, Male
    Germ Cells
    Organ Size
    Seminiferous Tubules
    Sexual Behavior, Animal
    Sperm Count
    Sperm Motility

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



    PubMed ID