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Preventive effect of tert-butylhydroquinone on scrotal heat-induced damage in mouse testes

Author(s): Y.S. Li1, Y.G. Piao1, K. Nagaoka2,3, G. Watanabe2,3, K. Taya2,3 and C.M. Li1

To investigate the effect of tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) on scrotal heat-induced damage in mice testes, 8-week-old mice were divided into 6 groups and administered with or without tBHQ through diet (10 mg/g), intraperitoneal injection (100 mg/kg body weight), or intratestis injection (12.5 mg/kg body weight), respectively. After single scrotal heat exposure (42°C for 25 min), trunk blood and testes were collected 48 h later. The testes from diet and intraperitoneal tBHQ-treated mice showed more compact interstitial cells and less germ cell loss in the seminiferous epithelium compared with their corresponding non-tBHQ groups. However, intratestis tBHQ treatment showed no marked difference relative to the non-treatment group. In addition, pre-treatment of tBHQ caused lower testosterone concentrations and reduced expression of cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP 17) compared to the corresponding non-tBHQ groups. The results indicated that scrotal heat-induced structural damage was partly prevented by pretreatment of tBHQ, which could be used as an effective antioxidant for preventing scrotal heat-mediated male infertility.