Protective role of erythropoietin during testicular torsion of the rats
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Testicular torsion is an important clinical urgency. Similar mechanisms occurred after detorsion of the affected testis as in the ischemia reperfusion (I/R) damage. This study was designed to investigate the effects of erythropoietin (EPO) treatment after unilateral testicular torsion. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups. Group 1 underwent a sham operation of the right testis under general anesthesia. Group 2 was same as sham, and EPO (3,000 IU/kg) infused i.p., group 3 underwent a similar operation but the right testis was rotated 720° clockwise for 1 h, maintained by fixing the testis to the scrotum, and saline infused during the procedure. Group 4 underwent similar torsion but EPO was infused half an hour before the detorsion procedure, and in group 5, EPO was infused after detorsion procedure. Four hours after detorsion, ipsilateral and contralateral testes were taken out for evaluation. Treatment with EPO improved testicular structures in the ipsilateral testis but improvement was less in the contralateral testis histologically, but EPO treatment decreased germ cell apoptosis in both testes following testicular IR. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and nitrite levels decreased after EPO treatment especially in the ipsilateral testis. We conclude that testicular I/R causes an increase in germ cell apoptosis both in the ipsilateral and contralateral testes. Eryhropoietin has antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects following testicular torsion.