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Volume 20, Issue 4 (July 2018) 20, 385–390; 10.4103/aja.aja_68_17

Immediate and late effects of chronic stress in the testes of prepubertal and adult rats

Carina T Ribeiro1, Diogo B De Souza1, Waldemar S Costa1, Francisco J B Sampaio1, Marco A Pereira-Sampaio1,2

1 Urogenital Research Unit, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20551-030, Brazil
2 Department of Morphology, Fluminense Federal University, Niteroi, RJ 24210-150, Brazil

Correspondence: Dr. DB De Souza (diogobenchimol@gmail.com)

Date of Submission 20-Jun-2017 Date of Acceptance 07-Nov-2017 Date of Web Publication 30-Jan-2018


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic stress on the testes of prepubertal and adult rats and to evaluate whether any alterations could be reversed when stress induction is ended. Seventy-six male rats were assigned to eight groups depending on the type of treatment (control or stressed), the age at which stress was initiated (prepubertal or adult), and the time of evaluation (immediate or late). Stress stimuli were applied for 6 weeks. Stressed prepubertal and adult rats evaluated immediately after the last stress stimulus were included in SP-I and SA-I groups, respectively. The late prepubertal (SP-L) and adult (SA-L) groups of stressed rats were evaluated 6 weeks after the last stress stimulus. Age-matched rats were used as controls (CP-I, CA-I, CP-L, and CA-L groups). Application of stress stimuli to rats in the SP-I group resulted in body weight and seminiferous tubule diameter reduction. The rats in the SA-I group also showed several functional (testosterone level and sperm parameter) and morphological (testicular weight and seminiferous tubule diameter) reductions. The rats in the SP-L group showed increased body weight and intertubular compartment volumetric and absolute densities and reduced tubular compartment volumetric density. The rats in the SA-L group presented only reduced sperm viability. Stress stimuli promoted changes in the rats in all the study groups. The testes of the adult rats were the most affected by chronic stress. However, the stressed adult rats recovered well from the testicular alterations.

Keywords: chronic stress; morphometry; rat; testis

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