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Abstract

Volume 8, Issue 6 (November 2006) 8, 713–717; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2006.00202.x

Effects of epidermal growth factor on sperm content and motility of rats with surgically induced varicoceles

Dong Cheng, Xin-Min Zheng, Shi-Wen Li, Zhi-Wei Yang and Li-Quan Hu

Research Center of Urology and Andrology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China

Correspondence: Prof. Xin-Min Zheng, Research Center of Urology and Andrology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China. Fax: +86-27-6781-3090. E-mail: zhengxinmin008@hotmail.com

Received 3 February 2006; Accepted 5 June 2006

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the sperm content and motility of the varicocelized rats.

Methods: Forty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups. Experimental varicocele was induced by partial ligation of the left renal vein in the varicocele, the varicocele repair, the varicocele with EGF and the varicocele repair with EGF groups, whereas the control group only received a sham induction of varicocele. Surgical repair of varicocele was performed 4 months later in the varicocele repair and varicocele repair with EGF groups. EGF administration was performed daily by s.c. injection in the varicocele with EGF and varicocele repair with EGF groups at the dose of 10 g/(kgday) from the next day of the second surgery. One month later, all animals were killed and bilateral cauda epididymal sperm counts and motility were evaluated.

Results: The mean sperm count and percentage of motile spermatozoa were significantly higher bilaterally in the varicocele with EGF group than in the varicocele group (P < 0.05). They were also significantly higher bilaterally in the varicocele repair with EGF group than in the varicocele repair and the varicocele with EGF groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: EGF can improve bilateral epididymal sperm content and motility of the rat with surgically induced varicocele. The administration of EGF in combination with surgical repair is more effective than surgical repair or EGF administration alone. EGF might be useful for the treatment of infertility induced by varicocele.

Keywords: epidermal growth factor, varicocele, infertility, rats, therapy

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