Skip to main content
Log in

Protective effect of doxycycline on germinal epithelial loss caused by a high-fat diet

  • Urology - Original Paper
  • Published:
International Urology and Nephrology Aims and scope Submit manuscript



A high-fat diet and male obesity are aspects associated with germinal epithelial alterations and male infertility. Some reports have shown that certain tetracyclines can protect the germinal epithelium from toxic drugs. The aim of the present study design was to evaluate the possible effect of doxycycline on testicular germ cells in individuals fed a Western diet (atherogenic), using a murine model.


Two groups of male mice (BALB/c) were fed a high-fat Western diet (HFD). One of these two groups was given doxycycline at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day (HFD+Dox). A third group was fed a standard rodent diet (SD group). After 6 months, the mice were euthanized and morphologic and histopathologic analyses were performed.


Germinal epithelial height was similar between the SD group (54 μm) and the HFD+Dox group (53 μm) (p = 0.26), and it was significantly reduced in the HFD group (47 μm) (p = 0.0001). The degree of germinal epithelial loss (DGEL) was significantly lower in the SD (10) and HFD+Dox (12.5) groups than in the HFD group (30) (p = 0.0001 and =0.007, respectively). There were no differences in the DGEL between the SD and HFD+Dox groups (p = 0.42).


Doxycycline administration was shown to prevent germinal epithelial loss in the testes of mice fed a high-fat diet. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the clinical usefulness of doxycycline or its analogs in persons with a habitual high-fat diet.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Palmer O, Bakos H, Fulston N, Lane M (2012) Impact of obesity on male fertility, sperm function and molecular composition. Spermatogenesis 2:253–263

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Martini AC, Molina RI, Ruiz RD, de Fiol Cuneo M (2012) Obesity and male fertility. Rev Fac Cien Med Univ Nac Cordoba 69:102–110

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Orazazideh M, Hashemitabar M, Khorsandi L (2009) Protective effect of minocycline on dexamethasone induced testicular germ cell apoptosis in mice. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 13:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  4. Yen YC, Lai HC, Ting CT, Lee WL, Wang LC, Wang KY, Lai HC, Liu TJ (2007) Protection by doxycycline against doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in mouse testes. Biochem Pharmacol 74:969–980

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Cawthorne C, Swindell R, Stratford IJ, Dive C, Welman A (2007) Comparison of doxycycline delivery methods for Tet-inducible gene expression in a subcutaneous xenograft model. J Biomol Tech 18:120–123

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Prats C, El Korchi G, Giralt M, Cristófol C, Peña J, Zorrilla I, Saborit J, Pérez B (2005) PK and PK/PD of doxycycline in drinking water after therapeutic use in pigs. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 28:525–530

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Leite LM, Carvalho AG, Ferreira PL, Pessoa IX, Gonçalves DO, Lopes Ade A, Góes JG, Alves VC, Leal LK, Brito GA, Viana GS (2011) Anti-inflammatory properties of doxycycline and minocycline in experimental models: an in vivo and in vitro comparative study. Inflammopharmacology 19:99–110

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Jantzie LL, Todd KG (2010) Doxycycline inhibits proinflammatory cytokines but not acute cerebral cytogenesis after hypoxia-ischemia in neonatal rats. J Psychiat Neurosci 35:20–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Mehraein F, Negahdar F (2011) Morphometric evaluation of seminiferous tubules in aged mice testes after melatonin administration. Cell J 13:1–4

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Batra N, Nehru B, Bansal MP (2001) Influence of lead and zinc on rat male reproduction at biochemical and histopathological level. J Appl Toxicol 21:507–512

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Veeramachaneni DNR, Ott RS, Heath EH, McEntee K, Bolt DJ, Hixon JE (1986) Pathophysiology of small testes in beef bulls: relationship between scrotal circumference histopathologic features of testes and epididymides seminal characteristics and endocrine profiles. Am J Vet Res 47:1988–1989

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Higuchi TT, Palmer JS, Gray LE Jr, Veeramachaneni DNR (2003) Effects of dibutyl phthalate in male rabbits following in utero adolescent or postpubertal exposure. Toxicol Sci 72:301–313

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Erdemir F, Atilgan D, Markoc F, Boztepe O, Suha-Parlaktas B, Sahin S (2012) The effect of diet induced obesity on testicular tissue and serum oxidative stress parameters. Actas Urol Esp 36:153–159

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Fernandez CD, Bellentani FF, Fernandes GS, Perobelli JE, Favareto AP, Nascimiento AF, Cicogna AC, Kempinas WD (2011) Diet-induced obesity in rats leads to a decrease in sperm motility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 9:32

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Singh LP, Mishra A, Saha D, Swarnakar S (2011) Doxycycline blocks gastric ulcer by regulating matrix metalloproteinase-2 activity and oxidative stress. World J Gastroenterol 17:3310–3321

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest

The present authors declare no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jose Guzman-Esquivel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Delgado-Enciso, I., García-Rivera, A., Madrigal-Pérez, M.V.M. et al. Protective effect of doxycycline on germinal epithelial loss caused by a high-fat diet. Int Urol Nephrol 46, 895–899 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: