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Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Jan;109:1988-1993. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.09.139. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Protective effect of N-acetylcysteine on MK-801-induced testicular oxidative stress in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Afyon Kocatepe, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. Electronic address:
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Afyon Kocatepe, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.
Bayat Vocational School, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.


Experimental studies indicate that MK-801 causes organ injury in schizophrenic mice testes although it is molecular mechanism has not been clearly defined. In this study, we investigated the probable protective effect of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) against MK-801- induced testicular toxicity in mice. In total, 24 Balb/C male mice were divided into 4 equal groups: the animals in the control group (vehicle treated) were intraperitoneally given 10 mL/kg/day saline solution, the animals in the experiment groups were intraperitoneally given 1 mg/kg/day MK-801 alone, 100 mg/kg/day NAC alone and MK-801 by 1 mg/kg/day for 14 days. The level of the testes' total oxidant status (TOS) in mice that were treated with MK-801 was significantly higher than those level in the other groups while the total antioxidant status (TAS) levels decreased. In comparison to the MK-801 group, the TOS levels were lower, and the TAS levels increased in the MK-801 + NAC group. In the morphometric analysis, the diameter and epithelial height of the seminiferous tubules of the testes showed no significant changes after MK-801 administration. Conversely, the weights of the testes decreased significantly. In the treatment with NAC, the weights of testes significantly increased in comparison to the MK-801 group. The histopathological examination revealed necrobiotic and degenerative changes in the epithelial cells, vacuole formation within the seminiferous tubules, a decrease in the number of the spermatozoid, and disorganization in the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubules in the MK-801 group in comparison to the control group. Administration of NAC alleviated several negative effects of MK-801 on the testicular damage in mice. In conclusion, our results showed that NAC protected the mice against the testicular toxicity of MK-801 when it was administrated intraperitoneally.


MK-801; Mice; N-Acetylcysteine; Oxidative stress; Testis

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