Effect of Triolein Emulsion on the Blood–Testis Barrier in Cats

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Although the blood–testis barrier (BTB) is beneficial physiologically, it acts as an obstacle to chemotherapy. We wished to determine whether a triolein emulsion could alter the permeability of the BTB in cats.

Materials and Methods:

An emulsion of 0.05-mL triolein in 20 mL of saline was infused into the abdominal aorta just proximal to the branching of the renal arteries of each of 15 cats (embolic group). As controls, 12 cats were each similarly infused with 20 mL of normal saline (control group). Pre and postcontrast MR images were obtained 30 minutes and 2 hours after embolization. The images were analyzed for the presence and degree of contrast enhancement (qualitative analysis), and the contrast enhancement ratios (CER) derived from one testis of each animal were compared and statistically analyzed by the mixed linear model (quantitative analysis).


Contrast enhancement of the testis was observed in both groups at both time points, but it was more prominent in the embolic group. The CERs in the embolic group (0.63 at 30 minutes, 0.42 at 2 hours) were significantly higher than in the control group (0.36 at 30 minutes, 0.28 at 2 hours; P = 0.0001). In each group, the CERs at 2 hours were significantly lower than those at 30 minutes (P = 0.006).


Intra-arterial infusion of triolein emulsion increased the permeability of the BTB. This result may be useful in future studies of BTB disruptions caused by fat emulsions.

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