Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 P638

The effects of stress on the histological structure of rat testis

Tuba Demirci & Elvan Özbek


Atatürk University Medical School Department of Histology and Embryology, Erzurum, Turkey.


Objective: Unexplained infertility is 15% among all infertility cases. Many forms of stress, including psychological and physical can effect male fertility and reproductive activity. In this study, we aimed to investigate possible histopathological effects of physical and psychological stress on rat testis at light microscopic level.

Methods: Eight adult, male Sprague Dawley rats were used in this study. Rats were randomly divided as control (n=4) and stress (n=4) groups. Chronic mild stress (CMS) model of depression was performed to the stress group along for two weeks. During the test rats consumed foods and water freely. At the end of the test, rats were slept with ketamin HCI. Then weight of removed testes were measured with sensitive scales and fixed in Bouin’s solution for histopathological evaluation. Following, haematoxylin–eosin dyed preparations were examined at light microscopical level.

Results: There was no statistical difference between two groups in terms of testicular weights (P> 0.05; independent samples t-test). In the light microscopic analysis of the CMS performed rats, germinal epithelium thickness of seminiferous tubules was the same with that of control group. In the interstitial connective tissue, intensive hyalinization regions were completely surrounding the seminiferous tubules. Vacuolisations in hyaline regions were remarkable. Vacuolar degeneration connecting with cytoplasmic bulge was seen in the Sertoli cells.

Conclusions: With the help of derived findings, it is mentioned that stress can be the reason for the clear structural changes which can cause deficiency of function in the testis. Finally we suggest that stress can cause male infertility.

Aknowledgement: This study was supported by the 2008/20-numbered Scientific Research Fund of our university.

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