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J Urol. 1986 Oct;136(4):940-3.

Testicular cytotoxicity of intravenous doxorubicin in rats.


Although the testicular cytotoxicity of many chemotherapeutic drugs has been evaluated in mice, their small size can pose technical problems. In this report, we describe doxorubicin-induced testicular toxicity in a larger animal model, the Sprague-Dawley rat. Fifty-three rats were used for this study. On day 0, rats in the treatment groups were anesthetized and given different single intravenous doses of doxorubicin (0.1 to 30 mg./kg.). On day 56 +/- 2, all surviving rats were killed and necropsied. Testicular toxicity was evaluated qualitatively by histology and quantitatively by testicular weight, sperm head count, repopulation index and epididymal index. The histologic effects of doxorubicin on the heart, liver and kidney were qualitatively evaluated. Progressive dose-dependent testicular atrophy and oligospermia occurred at low and intermediate dosages of doxorubicin (0.1 to 5 mg./kg.). Marked testicular atrophy, oligospermia and germinal aplasia were observed at high dosage of doxorubicin (10 mg./kg.). LD50 for animal mortality at day 56 +/- 2 for doxorubicin appears to be 10 mg./kg. These findings are similar to those reported in mice. The rat is a suitable model for the study of techniques to avoid drug-induced testicular damage.

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