A histological study of ipsilateral testis after experimentally induced varicocele in albino rats and the role of L-carnitine supplementation
Egyptian Journal of Histology
Introduction Varicocele pathophysiology and its role in male infertility are still unclear. Varicocelectomy is not an effective treatment in such cases as it failed to restore fertility after surgery in many patients. Aims of the study The aims of this study were to investigate the histological alterations that might occur in the structure of the ipsilateral testis after experimental varicocele, to determine whether this effect was time dependent, and to evaluate the possible role of
... on the varicocele. Materials and methods Thirty-six young adult albino rats were used. They were equally divided into three groups. Group 1 was the control. Group 2 was the experimentally induced varicocele (EV) that was subdivided into two subgroups, EV6 and EV18, according to varicocele duration. Group 3 (EV-carnitine) was the experimentally induced varicocele left for 18 weeks followed by an intraperitoneal injection of 200 mg/kg L-carnitine (three times/ week) for another successive 8 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the ipsilateral testes were extirpated and processed for light and electron microscope examinations. Epithelial height was estimated morphometrically and statistically analyzed. Results Testes of EV6 showed many distorted seminiferous tubules with irregular outlines, wide lumina, and disorganized epithelium including separation, sloughing, and multinucleated cells. Some areas of interstitium were wide. Acidophilic hyaline material was present in most of the interstitial spaces. Most of the tubules of EV18 were markedly distorted and were mostly lined by sertoli cells with a few spermatogenic cells. The tubular basement membrane of EV6 was relatively thick, irregular, and highly infolded and these changes were extremely obvious in EV18. Myoid cells appeared with irregular heterochromatic nuclei in EV18. Almost all sperm mid pieces in EV6 were markedly affected and no sperms were detected in most of the seminiferous tubules of EV18. Leydig cells in both subgroups showed variable-size electron-dense granules and cytoplasmic processes, which were more obvious in EV18. EV-carnitine nearly regained the normal architecture but a few tubules had a disorganized epithelium, a few affected sperms, and acidophilic hyaline material between some tubules. Leydig cells contained numerous mitochondria, a few variable-size electron-dense granules, a few lipid droplets, and no cytoplasmic processes. Estimation of epithelial height, which was statistically analyzed, confirmed the results. Conclusion Varicocele led to a deleterious effect on the ipsilateral testis that increased progressively with time. L-Carnitine supplementation improved the structure of testis of long-duration varicocele.