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Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2000) 2, 115–120;

Histologic changes in the mouse testis after bilateral vasectomy

S. K. Singh, S. Chakravarty

Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India

Advance online publication 1 June 2000


Aim: To study the effect of vasectomy on histological appearance of the testis. Methods: Parkes strain mice were used as the animal model; they were bilaterally vasectomized (Vx) or sham-operated (So) and killed at intervals of 4, 6, 9, and 12 months after the operation. Testes were excised from 5 Vx and 5 So mice at each interval and processed for histological examination. Results: Testes of So mice showed normal histological features. By contrast, marked alterations were observed in the seminiferous tubules in testes of Vx mice, except in those killed 4 months after the operation. The seminiferous epithelium in the tubules was only 2-3 layers thick and showed much depletion of germ cells; in severe cases, the epithelium consisted of only a thin layer of Sertoli cells, spermatogonia and a few spermatocytes. Exfoliation of germ cells, occurrence of multinucleated giant cells and vacuolated appearance of the epithelium were of common features in the tubules. Furthermore, lumen of the retetestis in Vx mice was greatly dilated and showed accumulation of spermatozoa with immature germ cells; in mice vasectomized for 6-12 months, several macrophages ingesting spermatozoa were often observed in the lumen of the rete testis. Spermatic granuloma was also sometimes noticed in corpus or in cauda regions of the epididymis in mice vasectomized for 6-12 months. Conclusion: We suggest that consequences of vasectomy should be thoroughly understood in order to make this method rather more popular as a reversible method of male contraception.

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