Background & Aims: Increase of blood glucose levels leads to structural and functional changes in reproductive system. This investigation was conducted to evaluate the effects of diabetes on the structure and function of testicular tissue focusing on the ultrastructure of the epithelium of seminiferous tubules.
Materials & Methods: Diabetes was induced in adult male rats by single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. Measurement of body and testicular weight, hormonal analysis of pituitary gonadotropins and testicular steroids, with ultrastructural study of seminiferous tubules was made at the end of 70 days of study.
Results: In diabetic rats, the body and testicular weights, the levels of 17-β estradiol, progesterone, FSH and LH significantly (p<0.05) reduced in comparison to the control rats. The blood plasma level of testosterone reduced in diabetic rats but was not significant (p>0.05). Ultrastructural study showed the mitochondrial change, reduction of smooth endoplasmic reticulum and presence of lipid droplets in Sertoli cells with disturbance of cell-cell junction of spermatogonia cells in seminiferous tubules of diabetic rats.
Conclusion: The results of this study proved that the increase of blood glucose levels can influence the normal spermatogenesis and fertility through the alteration of the hypophyseal and testicular hormonal levels and ultrastructural changes of testicular tissue.
Source: Urmia Med J 2011: 22(3): 273 ISSN: 1027-3727