Morphological evaluation of the radioprotective effects of melatonin against X-ray-induced early and acute testis damage in Albino rats: an animal model

Published on Friday, 06 April 2018


Irradiation has profound effects on the reproductive function.

Our knowledge about radioprotective effects of melatonin against X-ray-induced testis damage is rudimentary. In this investigation, we hypothesized that melatonin can minimize germ-cell depletion and morphological features of cell damage in testis following X-ray irradiation (XRI). To examine these effects, and to test our hypothesis, an animal model comprised of 60 Albino rats was established.

The animals were divided into five groups: Group 1, non-irradiated; Group 2, X-ray irradiated (XRI, 8 Grays); Group 3, XRI pretreated with solvent (ethanol and phosphate-buffered saline); Group 4, non-irradiated group treated with melatonin and Group 5, XRI pretreated with melatonin.

The testes were evaluated for both histological (light microscopy) and ultrastructural changes (transmission electron microscopy).

Histologically, there were marked depletions (66%) of the germinal epithelial cells, in XRI group (Groups 2 and 3), whereas these changes were almost absent in XRI testis of animals pretreated with melatonin (Group 5).

The number of spermatogenic cells in XRI testis of animals pretreated with melatonin (Group 5) was comparable (95%) to that of non-irradiated group (Groups 1 and 4) but significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those in XRI testis (34%, Groups 2 and 3).

Ultrastructurally, XRI testis (Groups 2 and 3) showed features of apoptosis (condensation of the nuclei, vacuolization of the cytoplasm, increased cytoplasmic density and apoptotic bodies). These features were absent in XRI testis of animals pretreated with melatonin (Group 5). Also, this Group showed features of an increased metabolic activity (large acrosomal vesicle, prominent Golgi, increased mitotic activity, increased complement of cytoplasmic organelles and appearance of nucleoli-like bodies). There was a minimal depletion of the Sertoli and Leydig cells following XRI. Also, morphological features of apoptosis were infrequent in these cells.

Administration of melatonin (MEL) prior to irradiation can protect testis against its destructive effects.

The protective effects include amelioration of germ-cell depletion and apoptotic changes. The clinical ramifications of these observations mandate further studies.


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See also:

- About Melatonin;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Melatonin tablets);

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.