n African Zoology - Radiation exposure exerts its adverse effects on sperm maturation through estrogen-induced hypothalamohypophyseal axis inhibition in rats

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



Irradiation has adverse effects on reproductive aspects such as spermatogenic cell population and cell malformation, leading to reduced sperm count and non-viable spermatozoa. This has overshadowed possible effects of radiation exposure on biochemical environment throughout the epididymis and the viability of spermatozoa that appeared morphologically normal. The effects of radiation exposure on sperm quality were evaluated through mating trials and assessment of the cauda epididymal sperm motility. Sprague Dawley rats with body mass of 300-400 g were selected at random. Two experimental groups received acute <sup>6°</sup>Co <SPAN lang=AF style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; mso-ascii-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-hansi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Symbol"><SPAN style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font: Symbol">g</SPAN></SPAN>-radiation doses of 3.5 and 6.0 Gy, respectively. Data were collected 2, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 days postirradiation. Each male was housed with a non-irradiated super-ovulated female during mating trials. Cauda epididymal sperm motility was assessed with the CASMA. Hormone analyses were carried through chemiluminescence diagnostic tests to determine the endocrine status. Results suggest that irradiation causes an overproduction of estrogens, which suppresses the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and inhibits LH and FSH secretions. Both LH and FSH deficiencies have negative effects on the testicular index and local reproductive hormones. Elevated estrogen levels influenced the epididymal internal milieu negatively, resulting in rigid, flagella bending sperm tail, impaired progressive movement of the spermatozoa and hence infertility.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error