Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 137–143 | Cite as

Antioxidant treatment ameliorates germ cell apoptosis induced by a high-dose ionizing irradiation in rats

  • Igor SukhotnikEmail author
  • O. Nativ
  • Y. Ben-Shahar
  • I. N. Bejar
  • Y. Pollak
  • A. G. Coran
  • M. Gorenberg
Original Article



Exposure to ionizing radiation results in cytotoxic and genotoxic effects caused mainly by the oxidative damage. In the present study, we investigated the radioprotective effect of novel antioxidant cocktail on germ cell apoptosis and spermatogenesis in rats subjected to whole body radiation (WBIR).


Adult male rats weighing 250–270 g were divided into four groups, eight rats each. Group 1 served as untreated control, group 2 received an IP single dose of antioxidant cocktail (1 ml). Group 3 was exposed to a WBIR (6 Gy). Group 4 received antioxidant cocktail before WBIR. Rats from each group were killed after 48 h. MDA levels were measured in serum (TBARS assay). Johnsen’s criteria and the number of germinal cell layers were used to categorize spermatogenesis. TUNEL assay was used to determine germ cell apoptosis. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA test.


WBIR resulted in histological testicular damage (decrease in Johnsen’s criteria, p < 0.05) that was accompanied by a significant increase in germ cell apoptosis, expressed as the number of apoptotic cells per 100 tubules (AI-1 apoptotic index) and the number of positive tubules per 100 tubules (AI-2 apoptotic index). Treatment with antioxidant cocktail resulted in a significant decrease in germ cell apoptosis (33% decrease in AI-1, p < 0.05 and 34% decrease in AI-2, p < 0.05) that was accompanied by an improved spermatogenesis (increase in Johnsen’s criteria, p < 0.05).


In a rat model of WBIR, antioxidant treatment ameliorates oxidative stress-induced testicular damage, decreases germ cell apoptosis and improves spermatogenesis.


Radiation Antioxidant therapy Germ cell Apoptosis Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Sukhotnik
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • O. Nativ
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Y. Ben-Shahar
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. N. Bejar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. Pollak
    • 1
  • A. G. Coran
    • 5
  • M. Gorenberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of intestinal adaptation and recovery, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric SurgeryBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear MedicineBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  4. 4.Department of UrologyBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  5. 5.Section of Pediatric Surgery, C. S. Mott Children’s HospitalUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUS

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