Pelvic Radiation-Induced Testicular Damage: An Experimental Study at 1 Gray.

RAKICI S. , Guzel A. İ. , TUMKAYA L. , Nalkiran H. S. , MERCANTEPE T.

Systems biology in reproductive medicine, cilt.66, sa.2, ss.89-98, 2020 (SCI Expanded İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 66 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/19396368.2019.1679909
  • Dergi Adı: Systems biology in reproductive medicine
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.89-98


Therapeutic radiation of the pelvic region has been shown to cause damage to testicular germ cells. In this study we aimed to evaluate the effects of a low therapeutic dose of 1 Gy on the induction of cellular and histological damage in early-stage testicular germ cells and the impact of this radiation on offspring sex ratio. Unirradiated and irradiated male rats were mated with unirradiated female rats. Female rats were followed and the sex of the offspring was determined. The male rats were sacrificed at the end of the second week, and the testicular germ cells were subjected to genetic analysis along with cytological and histopathological examination. Sperm DNA was amplified with primers specific to testis-specific Y-linked protein, rat actin beta and testis-specific X-linked genes. The resulting products were separated by capillary electrophoresis. Histopathological changes were investigated by light microscopy along with the TUNEL assay and immunohistochemical staining for caspase-3. There was no significant difference between the two groups for sex ratio and size of offspring. The number of sperm cells bearing X or Y chromosomes' did not differ significantly between these two groups. However, a 1 Gy dose of radiation caused significant cytopathological and histopathological changes in the testicular tissue. In the irradiated group, edematous regions were evident. The number of caspase-3 positive cells in the germinal epithelium of the seminiferous tubules was also significantly higher in the irradiated group. Our results showed that low-dose radiation induced apoptosis and caused significant cyto- and histopathological changes in the testicular tissue. Further research is required to fully elucidate their contribution to apoptosis and if low-dose radiation may potentially lead to long-term effects in the offspring. These results may also lead us to develop a new technique using the caspase-3 staining to monitor the susceptibility to low dose radiation.