Protective effect of pentoxifylline on male Wistar rat testicular germ cell apoptosis induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymeth amphetamine

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Medical Sciences, Shahrood Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrood, Iran

2 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Anatomy, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) one of the methamphetamine derivatives that affect the reproductive system, has not been well understood. Many young people are consumers of drugs such as MDMA that can affect their reproductive capability. Apoptosis is the main mechanism for male infertility. Pentoxifylline (PTX) increases cAMP intracellularly and reduces tumor necrosis factor-α.
This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of PTX administration in MDMA-induced apoptosis in testes of male Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods: Thirty male Wistar rats weighing 250–300 g were randomly divided into five groups: control group (without any intervention), group receiving 7.5 mg/kg MDMA three times every two hours for one day, first experimental group receiving 100 mg/kg PTX just at the time of third injection of MDMA, second experimental group receiving 100 mg/kg PTX a week before MDMA administration, and the vehicle group, which received MDMA+saline.  Two weeks later, testes were removed and prepared for H&E staining, TUNEL and Western blot techniques. 
Results: There was a significant decrease of the score in the MDMA group compared with the control group. In first and second experimental groups, the quality of seminiferous epithelium was improved compared with the MDMA group. The number of TUNEL-positive cells/tubule increased in MDMA and vehicle groups, which is decreased by administration of PTX before MDMA. Expression of active caspase-3 significantly increased in MDMA group, which is significantly decreased by administration of PTX before MDMA.
Conclusion: PTX can significantly reduce the severity of lesions in the testes following administration of MDMA.


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