Stereological Quantification of Leydig and Sertoli Cells: Technique of Assessing Antifertility Potentials of Metronidazole
Changes in the numbers or volume of the different cell types in the testis have been widely used to ascertain the effects of environmental and chemical agents on the testis. This study is designed to investigate the direct effects of metronidazole on the testicular cells by quantifying the number of Sertoli and Leydig cells. A total of 105 adult male and 50 female wistar rats weighing 170±10g (70-90 day old) were used for the experiment. The rats were randomly divided into a control and experimental groups. There were four major groups with 5 subgroups consisting of 5 rats each. Varying doses of metronidazole were used depending on the experiment. Experiment 1; animals were fed with 15mg/kg of metronidazole, experiment 2; fed with 30mg/kg of metronidazole, experiment 3; administered with 200mg/kg of metronidazole and experiment 4; fed with 400mg/kg of metronidazole. Each experimental has 5 sub-groups; A control, B; group fed with the experimental dose, C; experimental dose with vitamin E, D; experimental dose with testosterone, E; fed with experimental dose, vitamin E and testosterone and subgroup F, a reversal group which was left for 8weeks after cessation of treatment. At the end of the experiment, animals were scarified and the antioxidant effects of metronidazole were investigated using malonildialdehyde concentration and catalase activity. Results showed that metronidazole at the therapeutic dose of 15mg/kg and 30mg/kg did not have significant negative effect on the testicular cell number. At the dose of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg, there was a marked increase in number of Sertoli and Leydig cells. The results of this study indicate that metronidazole administration (200mg/kg or 400 mg/kg), for 8weeks, caused a reduction in the total number of Sertoli and Leydig cells of the testis and this effect was reversible after 8weeks of abstinence.
Keywords: stereology, Leydig cells, Sertoli cells