Carnitine reduces testicular damage in rats treated with etoposide in the prepubertal phase
Etoposide is a chemotherapeutic agent that induces cell death by blocking topoisomerase II catalytic function. Although etoposide is effective in the treatment of cancer, it also causes the death of normal proliferating cells, including male germ cells. Administration of etoposide during the prepubertal phase causes diturbances in several testicular morphometric parameters and in Sertoli cells. Cytoprotection of the seminiferous epithelium is the only means of preserving potential male reproduction in prepubertal cancer patients. Carnitine, an amino acid naturally present in normal cells, is a promising cryoprotectant as it is concentrated in the epididymis and promotes sperm maturation. We have therefore investigated whether carnitine protects rat testes against etoposide and, thus, improves fertility in adulthood. Our results suggest that carnitine partially protects the testis against damage caused by etoposide, although the mechanism by which it happens remains unknown.
KeywordsCarnitine Etoposide Apoptosis Spermatogenesis Testis Rat (Wistar)
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