African Journal of Biotechnology

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β-Tocopherol (vitamin E) attenuates the testicular toxicity associated with experimental cryptorchidism in rats

LC Saalu, KA Oluyemi, IO Omotuyi


Cryptorchidism is the most frequent anatomic anomaly observed in an endocrine gland. It is a wellidentified risk factor in infertility and testicular cancer. It is believed that increased generation of free
radicals and oxidants play an important role in the resulting testicular damage. The present study investigated the role of a-tocopherol (vitamin E) as an antioxidant in protecting the testis against
damage in experimental cryptorchidism. Thirty six Sprague - Dawley rats weighing 250 – 280 g were divided into three groups; A, B and C, with Group A (intact rats) as control. All rats in Group B and C
were rendered bilaterally cryptorchid by anchoring the upper pole of testis to the anterior abdominal wall. Group C rats in addition received vitamin E at 25 mg/kg body weight intramuscularly daily. Fifty six
days after cryptorchidism induction, bilateral testicular weight, bilateral testicular volume, bilateral caudal epididymal sperm characteristics, bilateral testicular histology and serum hormone levels were
all tested. Most of the above parameters were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in Groups B and C compared to Group A. The testes of vitamin E treated cryptorchid rats had better functional and histological
profiles than those of the untreated cryptorchid rats. Experimental cryptorchidism did not affect the plasma testosterone levels. The results indicated that vitamin E moderated the deleterious effects of
experimental cryptorchidism.

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