Original Article

Morphological changes in testes and epididymides of rats after gossypol

Zhi-ping Gu, Shu-dong Zong, Chin-chuan Chang


Light microscopic and electron microscopic changes were seen in testes and epididymides of rats which had become infertile after treatment with gossypol 15 mg/kg qd x 8-12 wks. Spermatogenesis was basically normal, but obvious damages consisting of vacuolization and missing mitochondria were noted in the spiral sheaths of testicular and epididymal spermatozoa. Epididymal spermatozoa were frequently found to be lacking membranes, outer fibers or inner microtubules. Cells of the epididymal epithelia showed degenerative mitochondria. A large number of blebs from dilated microvilli were noted on the surface of the epididymal ducts. The damages of Sertoli cells in some seminiferous epithelia were found in rats treated with gossypol for 12 wks.

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