The Effects of Local and Systemic Growth Hormone Treatment on Germ Cell Population and Fertility in an Experimental Unilateral Testicular Torsion and Orchiectomy Model

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Abstract

Purpose:

We evaluated the effects of local and systemic growth hormone on the germ cell population of the contralateral testes of pubertal rats subjected to unilateral testicular torsion and orchiectomy 24 hours later.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 40 male Wistar-Albino rats at age 3 weeks were divided into 5 groups. In the sham operated group the right testis was sutured and orchiectomy was performed 24 hours later. In groups 2 to 5 orchiectomy was performed 24 hours later following testicular torsion. In groups 3 and 4 unloaded and growth hormone loaded gelatin films, respectively, were sutured on the contralateral testes. In group 5 systemic growth hormone was administered for 7 days. Five weeks later each rat was cohabited with 2 female rats and the left testes were removed for evaluation. Mean seminiferous tubular diameter, mean testicular biopsy score and the mean haploid cell percentage were calculated. Mating studies were performed and fertility parameters were assayed.

Results:

Mean seminiferous tubular diameter, mean testicular biopsy score and the mean haploid cell percentage of the contralateral testes were significantly decreased in the control and gelatin groups compared with the other groups. There was no difference between the local and systemic growth hormone groups regarding the haploid cell percentage. There were no differences between the groups in mean fetus numbers, mating or fertility and fecundity indexes except in the gelatin group, in which the mean fetus number was significantly lower.

Conclusions:

Fertility is not affected in rats after 24 hours of testicular torsion and orchiectomy, although there is germ cell injury and a decrease in the percent of haploid cells. Growth hormone administration resulted in the restoration of germ cell histology and an increase in the haploid cell percentage of the contralateral testes. Growth hormone may improve fertility after unilateral testicular torsion and orchiectomy.

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