The Journal of Toxicological Sciences
Online ISSN : 1880-3989
Print ISSN : 0388-1350
ISSN-L : 0388-1350
Original Article
The effects of long-lasting hypoglycemia on male reproductive organs in rats
Taiki KobayashiJunichi NamekawaTakasumi ShimomotoMari YasuiTakeshi IijimaYasuhiro ItanoDaishiro MiuraYoshinori Kasahara
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2015 Volume 40 Issue 6 Pages 719-725


Glucose has an important role in spermatogenesis. Nevertheless there are few reports in which the effects of long-lasting hypoglycemia on male reproductive organs have been evaluated. Therefore, insulin was administered subcutaneously at 100, 200, and 400 IU/kg to male rats twice a day for one month. This treatment regimen produced plasma glucose levels that rapidly decreased after treatment, with decreased glucose levels lasting for several hours after each administration on the first and final treatment days. During the treatment period, no abnormalities in clinical signs or body weight were observed. No statistically significant differences were noted in the weights of testes, epididymides, prostates and seminal vesicles, or pituitary glands. Histopathological examination revealed that the insulin-treated animals exhibited degeneration of seminiferous tubules in the testes and exfoliation of germ cells in the lumens of epididymides as a secondary change related to the testicular lesions. The incidences of the histopathological findings were found to be proportional to insulin dose. Sperm analysis of the group receiving the highest dosage indicated that the sperm concentration tended to decrease and the incidences of sperm malformations tended to increase. Our results suggest that long-lasting hypoglycemia affects male reproductive organs in rats.

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© 2015 The Japanese Society of Toxicology
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