The defensive role of taurine against gonadotoxicity and testicular apoptosis effects induced by cisplatin in rats.
Introduction: Cisplatin (CIS), which is used as a therapeutic antineoplastic agent may produce gonadotoxicity in a process linked to chemotherapy. Taurine, through its potential antioxidant effect, has a protective role against cisplatin-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis.
Objective: To investigate whether taurine intake can ameliorate testicular damage induced by cisplatin and to study the possible mechanism that mediates this action, either through its antioxidant action alone or in addition to its anti-apoptotic effects.
Patients and methods: Fifty healthy adult white male albino rats were randomly distributed into five groups, each involving ten animals. The first group represents the negative control group. The other four groups received three equal doses (3 mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneal injections of cisplatin on alternate days. In the positive control group (group 2), saline only was given. Groups 3, 4 &5 received taurine in distilled water at oral doses of 50, 150, 250 mg/kg, respectively, on alternate days followed by cisplatin (each injection of cisplatin was given 1 day after taurine). On the 28th day after the first dose of normal saline, cisplatin or taurine, blood samples were examined for testosterone levels. All rats were killed and their testes were examined.
Results: Rats treated with cisplatin alone showed reduced body weight in addition to reduced testicular weight, impaired sperm counts, and oxidative stress (reduced GSH, increased MDA level), decreased plasma testosterone, apoptotic marker (increased Bax, decreased bcl2). However following taurine induction, the figures for GSH and MDA changed significantly (P < 0.005) referring to the effect of taurine as a potent antioxidant.
Conclusions: Cisplatin-induced germ cell apoptosis may result in decreasing spermatogenesis. However, taurine could effectively prevent nearly all of these cisplatin-induced testicular abnormalities, thereby proving to be an effective cytoprotectant.