, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 101–108 | Cite as

Cisplatin-induced pulse of germ cell apoptosis precedes long-term elevated apoptotic rates in C57/BL/6 mouse testis

  • F. Seaman
  • P. Sawhney
  • C. J. Giammona
  • J. H. Richburg


Chemotherapeutic doses of cisplatin impair spermatogenesis and ultimately cause azoospermia and infertility in some men. The mechanism by which cisplatin damages testicular germ cells is poorly understood. Cisplatin's impact is first detected hours after exposure in the formation of DNA cross-links followed by weeks of testicular damage. Here, we report in 11-week-old male mice an early and massive rise of germ cell apoptosis after a single intraperitoneal (I.P.) injection of either 5 or 10 mg/kg cisplatin. For the lower dose, a roughly 9-fold peak increase in the apoptotic index over the control level is observed at 36 h, and for the higher dose, a 24-fold rise is seen at 24 h. At these peak levels, the lower dose produced a higher ratio of apoptotic early spermatocytes to apoptotic spermatogonia than did the higher dose. In addition to this early wave of germ cell die-off, our data show that while the post-wave apoptotic rates for both dose regimes diminish, at 12 days the apoptotic rates appear significantly higher (5 mg/kg) than controls. In summary, our findings show two events set in motion by acute cisplatin exposure: (1) a previously unreported massive apoptotic die-off of germ cells followed by (2) an elevated apoptotic rate possibly reflecting long-term or permanent damage to the seminiferous tubule.

apoptosis cisplatin germ cell testis TUNEL 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Seaman
    • 1
  • P. Sawhney
    • 1
  • C. J. Giammona
    • 1
  • J. H. Richburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of PharmacyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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