Investigation on the histopathological effects of thyroidectomy on the seminiferous tubules of immature and adult rats

Oncu M., KAVAKLI D., GÖKÇİMEN A., Gulle K., Orhan H., KARAÖZ E.

UROLOGIA INTERNATIONALIS, vol.73, no.1, pp.59-64, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000078806
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-64
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the histopathological effects of thyroidectomy on both immature and adult rat testes. Materials and Methods: Male albino Wistar rats, 4 weeks old and weighing between 45 and 55 g, were used for this study. The experimental groups were as follows: 2-week control group (group I); 2-week thyroidectomy group (group II); 4-week control group (group III); 4-week thyroidectomy group (group IV); 6-week control group (group V), and 6-week thyroidectomy group (group VI). The control groups included both sham-operated and untreated rats. In groups II, IV and VI, total thyroidectomy was performed under ether anesthesia in all rats at 4 weeks of age. The rats were killed in the 2nd, 4th and 6th weeks, respectively, following the thyroidectomy. The testes of each animal were evaluated histologically. Results: In group II, spermatogenesis progressed to meiosis but round spermatids were found to be decreased and pachytene spermatocytes were observed to be increased when compared to group I. Giant pachytene spermatocytes were seen. There were also many degenerated cells of intermediate origin in the seminiferous epithelium. In groups IV and VI, spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes were normal in appearance, but there was widespread degeneration of the other spermatogenic cells. In addition, some closed lumina covered by degenerated and dead cells were observed. In group II, the mean outer diameter, luminal diameter and area occupied by seminiferous epithelium decreased by 19.74, 32.18, and 28.12%, respectively. In group IV, these data decreased by 23.9, 16.52, and 48.5%, respectively, and in group VI, by 21.10, 19.76 and 40.29%, respectively, when compared with the control groups. These data were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Thyroid hormones could have a marked influence on the seminiferous tubules of both immature and adult rats, and their permanent lack results in a depression in seminiferous tubule growth as shown by the reduced outer and luminal diameters and area occupied by the seminiferous epithelium, which could give rise to degenerative changes in the spermatogenic cells of thyroidectomized rats. In addition, all these changes could also result from both the inability of Sertoli cells to support spermatogenic cells and the diminished levels of GH and FSH. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.