Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Methotrexate (MTX), widely used as a drug in cancer, has many adverse effects on tissues. Apocynin (APO) is a NADPH oxidase inhibitor and is known with many antioxidant properties. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the adverse effects of MTX on testicular tissue and the protective effects of APO at two different doses (20 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) on MTX-induced testicular damage.Materials and methods: Fifty adult male Wistar albino rats (8 weeks old and weighing 200-250 g) were divided into five groups of 10 rats each: 1. saline control, 2. dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) control, 3. MTX, 4. APO-20 + MTX, and 5. APO-50 + MTX. All injections were performed intraperitoneally. At the end of day 28, all rats were sacrificed under anesthesia. The testes were evaluated histologically and the blood samples were analyzed biochemically.Results: According to histological and biochemical analyses, there was no significant difference between the DMSO and control groups. In terms of the histological findings, MTX group was significantly the worst affected group compared to the others, and in this group, apoptotic cell number (P = 0.011) was significantly increased in comparison with the control group. Except MTX, there was no significant difference in apoptotic cell number of the other groups compared to the control group. In the MTX group, malondialdehyde (MDA, P = 0.017) and myeloperoxidase (MPO, P < 0.001) levels were significantly increased in tissue and in blood (MDA P < 0.001, MPO P < 0.001), while tissue glutathione (GSH, P < 0.05) and serum testosterone levels (P < 0.01) were decreased compared with the control group. APO + MTX treatment groups exhibited better testis morphology, and apoptotic cells were also significantly decreased compared to MTX group (P < 0.001).Conclusion: Our results suggest that MTX induced defects on testis via oxidative stress and APO reversed the effects of MTX with its antioxidant properties.

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