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


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
StatePublished - 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1816/13


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


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