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Vitamin B12-induced spermatogenesis recovery in cimetidine-treated rats: effect on the spermatogonia number and sperm concentration


1 Department of Morphology and Genetics, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP/EPM), São Paulo, Brazil
2 Department of Morphology, Laboratory of Histology and Embryology, Dental School - São Paulo State University (UNESP/FOAr), Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Estela Sasso-Cerri,
Department of Morphology, Laboratory of Histology and Embryology, Dental School - São Paulo State University (UNESP/FOAr), Araraquara, São Paulo
Brazil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

The H 2 -receptor antagonist cimetidine is an antiulcer drug also used for the treatment of cancer due to its antiangiogenic effect. However, this drug has caused structural changes in the seminiferous tubules. Vitamin B 12 has been used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of male infertility. The supplementation of rats with vitamin B 12 during cimetidine treatment has recovered the damaged seminiferous tubules, but how this vitamin restores the seminiferous epithelium has not been clarified. In this study, we evaluated whether vitamin B 12 improves the number of spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and sperm concentration in cimetidine-treated rats. Adult male rats were treated for 50 days as follows: cimetidine group received 100 mg kg−1 b.w. of cimetidine, cimetidine-B 12 group received cimetidine and 3 μg of vitamin B 12 -hydroxocobalamin, B 12 group received only 3 μg of vitamin, and control group received saline. Sperm concentration was calculated and historesin-embedded testes sections were used for the quantitative analyses of spermatogonia (A; In/B) and spermatocytes. TUNEL method and PCNA immunofluorescence were performed. Cimetidine caused a significant reduction in sperm concentration. TUNEL-positive spermatogonia and spermatocytes were correlated to a significant reduction in the number of these cells. In cimetidine-B 12 group, sperm concentration was higher than cimetidine group and a significant increase in the number of spermatogonia (stages II-VI) was correlated to a high incidence of PCNA-immunolabeled spermatogonia and spermatocytes. The results show that the supplementation of rats with vitamin B 12 during cimetidine treatment increases sperm concentration and exerts a potential effect in the recovery of spermatogonia and spermatocytes.


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