Pretreatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist protects against chemotherapy-induced testicular damage ‘in mice

Mattan Levi*, Ruth Shalgi, Irit Ben-Aharon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Testicular toxicity following chemotherapy is of increasing importance with the continuous improvement of survival rates. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was suggested to protect testis against such toxicity; however, its suppressive quality and mechanism of action are still unclear. We examined whether and how pretreatment with GnRH antagonist protects against the testicular damage caused by chemotherapy. Methods: Mature male mice were injected subcutaneously eight times in 2-day intervals with either saline or GnRH antagonist (Cetrotide; 1 g/mg), followed by an intraperitoneal injection with either saline or cyclophosphamide (CTX;100 mg/kg BW) and sacrificed 2 weeks or 3 months later. Testicular weight, epididymis weight, epididymal sperm count and sperm motility were measured. Serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Immunohistochemistry (Ki-67), immunofluorescence (PCNA, CD34), terminal transferase-mediated deoxyuridine 5-triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and computerized analysis were performed to examine testicular proliferation, apoptosis and vascularization. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to assess the amount of spermatogonial reserve (Id4 and Gfra1 mRNAs). Results: Pretreatment with GnRH antagonist transiently reduced testicular weight, epididymal weight, germinal proliferation and sperm count; it also abolished the permanent long-term effect of CTX on these parameters and prevented cyclophosphamide-induced testicular toxicity characterized by apoptosis and serum AMH increase and irreversible loss of spermatogonial reserve. Conclusions: Our findings imply that pretreatment with GnRH antagonist temporarily reduces spermatogenesis and may be used as pretreatment for reducing chemotherapeutic testicular toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1816/13

    Keywords

    • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist
    • fertility
    • spermatogonia
    • testicular toxicity
    • testis

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