Vitamin B12‑induced spermatogenesis recovery in cimetidine

Vitamin B12‑induced spermatogenesis recovery in cimetidine

Flávia L Beltrame1 , Estela Sasso‑Cerri2

The H2‑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 B12 has been used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of male infertility. The supplementation of rats with vitamin B12 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 B12 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‑B12 group received cimetidine and 3 µg of vitamin B12‑hydroxocobalamin, B12 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‑B12 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 B12 during cimetidine treatment increases sperm concentration and exerts a potential effect in the recovery of spermatogonia and spermatocytes. Asian Journal of Andrology (2016) 18, 1–6; doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.182397; published online: 26 August 2016

Keywords: cimetidine; fertility; spermatogenesis; testis; vitamin B12


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