Reversal of experimental varicocele-induced testicular toxicity by L-ascorbate in rats

  • LC Saalu
  • JA Oguntola
  • OS Babalola
  • AO Oyewopo
Keywords: Varicocele, ascorbic acid, testis, infertility

Abstract

Varicoceles are the abnormal tortuosity and dilatation of the veins of the pampiniform plexus that drain the testis. Varicoceles are variously considered the commonest “correctable” cause of infertility or the
commonest “reported” cause of infertility depending on individual viewpoint. Even though the pathophysiology of testicular damage in varicocele has not been completely understood, there is an
increasing body of evidence pointing towards the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of varicocele related subfertility. In this study we investigated the role of Lascorbate
(vitamin C) as an antioxidant in rejuvinating the testis following its damage in experimental varicocele. Thirty male Sprague- Dawley weighing 150-200 g were divided into three groups. While the
first group had sham operations, experimental varicoceles were established by complete ligation of the left and right main spermatic vein in the later two groups. The third group in addition to varicocele
induction had daily gavage administration of 8 mg/kg body weight vitamin C for fifty six days. All animals were sacrificed by decapitation fifty six days after varicocele induction. Testicular weights,
testicular volumes, caudal epididymal sperm characteristics, testicular histology and serum hormone levels were evaluated. Results showed that the testes of the rats that were given vitamin C post
experimental varicocele had better physiological, biochemical and histological profiles than those of the untreated animals. These results indicate the potency of vitamin C for modulating testicular toxicity
in varicocelized animals.
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