Original Article

Antispermatogenic activity of gossypol in rats fed on low-potassium diet

Shao-zhen Qian, Ye Xu, Song-yun Wu


Adult male rats were fed on either low-K or normo-K diet for 3 months. Gossypol acetic acid was given po to all rats in a daily dose of 15 mg/kg, 6 d/wk for the same period of time. At the end of the regimen, plasma K+ concentration was determined and testicular histology examined. The plasma K+ concentration of the rats fed on low-K diet was far lower than both the reported normal value and the value of the rats fed on normo-K diet, indicating a K deficient status of the former. Both the extent and severity of damage of seminiferous epithelia were significantly more pronounced in low-K fed than in normo-K fed rets. It is concluded that the antisperma-togenic activity of gossypol can be enhanced by K deficiency. a contributing factor in the development of gossypol-induced sterility.

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