Effects of Intratesticular Injection of 70% Glycerin on Stallions

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The removal of endogenous germ cells of recipient stallions is a key step to produce donor germ cell-derived sperm using the germ cell transplantation technique. Six Thoroughbred stallions were divided into a treatment (n = 3) and a control group (n = 3), and 70% glycerin (1, 2, 3-trihydroxypropane, 40 mL per testis) or phosphate-buffered saline, respectively, was locally injected into testes. General semen evaluation, libido, and testicular volume were performed weekly from 3 weeks before to 10 weeks after treatment. The number of round germ cells in the ejaculate was counted using a hemocytometer. The hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed on the cross sections of testicular tissue obtained 11th week of treatment. Plasma testosterone levels in blood collected weekly were measured using a colorimetric competitive enzyme immunoassay kit. The sperm number was significantly lower than that of the control group at 5 and 10 weeks after glycerin injection. No differences in the status of spermatogenesis in the cross sections of seminiferous tubules and testicular volume were found between the two groups. The 70% glycerin-treated stallions had reduced total and progressively motile sperm and exhibited a significantly higher population of round germ cells in the ejaculate. Testosterone levels, testicular volumes, and libido of stallions were not significantly different between the groups. In conclusion, although intratesticular injection of 70% glycerin may have caused disassociation of some germ cells in the seminiferous tubules for several weeks, it did not significantly ablate germ cells in the tubules at 11 week in stallions.

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