To analyze the effects of radiation on the reproductive tissue of male Wistar rats and to evaluate whether treatment with the Ang II AT1 receptor antagonists telmisartan and losartan mitigate the dysfunctions resulting from this exposure.Main methods:
Rats were randomly divided into groups: Control, Irradiated, Telmisartan, Losartan, Irradiated + Telmisartan, and Irradiated + Losartan. Single dose of 5Gy was administered directly into the scrotum, followed by treatment with telmisartan (12 mg/kg/day) or losartan (34 mg/kg/two times/day) for 60 days. Testicular function parameters were evaluated from spermatozoa of the vas deferens. Testes were processed for histopathological and morphometric-stereological analysis. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunohistochemistry was evaluated.Key findings:
Radiation significantly reduced sperm motility, concentration, vitality, and increased the number of abnormal spermatozoa. Telmisartan and losartan did not significantly prevent these radiation-induced disorders. Seminiferous tubules were atrophied in both untreated and treated irradiated testes, and exhibited vacuoles, increased interstitial tissue and high number of blood vessels. However, several seminiferous tubules in recuperation were founded among damaged tubules in the testes of treated animals. The PCNA immunohistochemistry confirmed these outcomes. PCNA-positive cells were detected in dividing spermatogonia and spermatocytes from irradiated telmisartan and losartan treated rats whereas in the only-irradiated group, PCNA staining was observed in the nuclei of only the surviving spermatogonia.Significance:
Under these experimental conditions, the testicular function parameters showed that radiation produced marked damage that was not reversed by treatments. However, gonadal restructuring and recovery of spermatogenesis in treated animals may to reflect attenuation of radiation-induced damages and potential start of recovery.