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Regulation of steroid hormones and energy status with cysteamine and its effect on spermatogenesis

Wang, Y., Zhao, Y., Yu, S., Feng, Y., Zhang, H., Kou, X., Chu, M., Cui, L., Li, L., Zhang, P., Shen, W. and Min, L. (2016) Regulation of steroid hormones and energy status with cysteamine and its effect on spermatogenesis. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 313 . pp. 149-158.

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Although it is well known that cysteamine is a potent chemical for treating many diseases including cystinosis and it has many adverse effects, the effect of cysteamine on spermatogenesis is as yet unknown. Therefore the objective of this investigation was to explore the effects of cysteamine on spermatogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. Sheep were treated with vehicle control, 10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg cysteamine for six months. After that, the semen samples were collected to determine the spermatozoa motility by computer-assisted sperm assay method. Blood samples were collected to detect the levels of hormones and the activity of enzymes. Spermatozoa and testis samples were collected to study the mechanism of cysteamine's actions. It was found that the effects of cysteamine on spermatogenesis were dose dependent. A low dose (10 mg/kg) cysteamine treatment increased ovine spermatozoa motility; however, a higher dose (20 mg/kg) decreased both spermatozoa concentration and motility. This decrease might be due to a reduction in steroid hormone production by the testis, a reduction in energy in the testis and spermatozoa, a disruption in the blood-testis barrier, or a breakdown in the vital signaling pathways involved in spermatogenesis. The inhibitory effects of cysteamine on sheep spermatogenesis may be used to model its effects on young male patients with cystinosis or other diseases that are treated with this drug. Further studies on spermatogenesis that focus on patients treated with cysteamine during the peripubertal stage are warranted.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
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